On 30 December 2020 a facebook user by the name Mahder Kiya ማህደር ቅያ (with 10,637 followers) posted the picture below of an ural truck and a soldier with the claim that the TPLF-led forces destroyed a brigade of the Ethiopia Defense Force on its way from Adwa to Hawzen. The text which is written in Tigrinya reads “…. a brigade of the 33th division was stricken and fully ambushed by while on a move from Adwa to Hawzen via Edaga Arbi and 144 soldiers and all military officers were captured….” However, Haqcheck interrogated the case and confirmed that the picture doesn’t show TPLF-led forces that destroyed the fourth brigade of the Ethiopian defense force in the current conflict in Tigray, rendering the verdict FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image to support the claim.
Granted, there has been an ongoing conflict in the Tigray region between the Federal government and the TPLF-led Tigray special police force and militia since 4 November 2020. The federal government declared that the war is over while also identifying hunting TPLF leadership who are still at large as its next step. Despite the claim of the federal government, unproven reports suggest that the war between the federal and regional forces is still going on.
It is in this context that the post was shared by the user making strong allegations that the TPLF-led regional force ambushed the brigade and captured all the soldiers and firearms. However a reverse image search of the picture used in the post doesn’t show the forces that ambushed the fourth brigade and captured all the soldiers and firearms. The image was first published on 7 November 2020 by a facebook page called TPLF Hawelti with a statement that states Tigray is equipped with modern firearms unlike the past and will prevail on its enemies who dare to wage war on Tigray. The original post can be accessed with the following link.
Image 1: Cropped Image
Image 2: Original Image (TPLF Hawelti)
Granted, there have been unproven reports that the war between the federal and regional forces is still ongoing. However, HaqCheck has interogetted the claim and confirmed that the image below doesn’t prove the claim that the TPLF-led forces ambushed the fourth brigade of the Ethiopian Defense Force in Tigray. It has therefore rendered the post FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image to support the claim.
Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak
Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame
The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking running in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English)