On June 2, 2023, HaqCheck came across a Twitter post sharing an image with a claim that the Ethiopian government recently massacred hundreds of Christians and monks in a monastery in the Amhara regional state.
By the time this article was published, the post had more than 39 thousand views and was retweeted more than 500 times.
However, HaqCheck inspected the image and rendered the claim False.
The Ethiopian federal government decided in April 2023 that regional special police forces should be dissolved and incorporated into the Ethiopian army, Federal Police, or regional police forces.
Following the announcement of the dismantling of regional paramilitary forces, tensions increased in the Amhara regional state. Later on, armed clashes and demonstrations against the federal government’s decision to disband local special police forces took place in the region.
Amid the crisis, Girma Yeshitla, the head of the Amhara Prosperity Party was killed. The Ethiopian government accused armed militias, commonly known as Fano, of assassinating the senior party official and vowed to take serious measures.
Following the incident, there were unconfirmed social media allegations of government armed forces deployment and violent clashes in various regions of the Amhara regional state.
News reports indicated an armed conflict in a monastery named Debre Elias in the East Gojjam zone of the Amhara region broke out and civilians were killed in the clash.
Against this backdrop, a claim emerged alleging that the Ethiopian government recently massacred hundreds of Christians and monks in the monastery in the Amhara regional state.
HaqCheck looked into the image using a Google reverse image search to see if it proves the claim. However, the picture was found previously published on a news website on Apr 14, 2017.
Accordingly, the image shows the dead bodies of 36 non-Muslim civilians massacred by Al Shabaab militants in Kenya.
Granted there were reports of armed clashes in the Amhara region, but the image presented to support the claim is old and inaccurate. Thus, HaqCheck rated the claim as False.