A facebook post emerged on 4 January 2020 by a facebook page named African Full Facts. (with over 88,000 followers) claiming that the picture in the post shows Ethiopian soldiers that captured Italians troops. The post reads “When a hunter becomes a prey & when the invaders become captured. An Ethiopian soldier and his Italian war captives during the invasion of Italians in Ethiopia.” HaqCheck interrogated the post and rated it as False.
In an era of European expansion, history shows that Italian interest in East Africa dates from 1869. The battle of Adwa broke out mainly due to the difference in the translation of article XVII of the Wichale treaty, signed on 2 May 1889, between Ethiopia and Italy. In 1895 the Italian force led by General Oreste Baratieri was reluctant to attack the Ethiopian army in the open field. Menilik’s (Emperor of Ethiopia at the time) force, traditional warriors, farmers and pastoralists as well as women, defeated the well-armed Italian army in 1896. The defeat led to a change of government in Italy, due to public protest and failure of his colonial policy, Prime Minister Francesco Crispi resigned. Ethiopia became a symbol of freedom for black people globally and the victory served as the model for future anti-colonial efforts.
Despite the claims of the post, however, a reverse image search of the picture in the post shows that the picture was taken during the Second World War and it shows an African American soldier guarding German prisoners in 1945. The photo is also found in the National archive of the United States of America along with other photos.
Granted the Ethiopian army defeated the Italian during the battle of Adwa in 1896, However HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed the picture that is used to support the claim is not actually related to the battle of Adwa, therefore rated the post False due to the inaccuracy of the picture.
Fact Checked by: Rehobot Ayalew
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)