An image that shows burning houses was circulating on Facebook with a claim that the picture belongs to a recent conflict in the town of Ataye, Amhara regional state. The image was posted along with two others on Facebook on Jan 24, 2023, by a page that has over five thousand followers.

Two hours later, the image was published by a Facebook page with more than five thousand followers on the same platform with the same claim that it shows an ongoing conflict in Ataye.

However, HaqCheck investigated the claim and confirmed that the image was first published three years ago and doesn’t show an ongoing conflict in the area. Thus, the claim was rated False.

Recurrent conflict and violence have been raging in the North Shewa and the Oromo Special zones of the Amhara regional state and adjacent areas since 2019.

In October 2019, a conflict in which three people were killed was reported. Two years later in 2021, a severe conflict occurred in the Oromo Special Zone, particularly in Ataye town.

The conflict spanned two months and hundreds of civilians were killed and injured. More than three hundred thousand people were displaced and over three thousand houses were destroyed in the April and March 2021 conflict and violence.

A quarter of the town of Ataye was destroyed during the conflict. The Amhara regional government asked for 1.5 billion Birr for the reconstruction of the town and for other rehabilitation efforts.

In April 2022, a conflict broke out in the North Showa and Oromo Special zones of the Amhara region. Over a dozen people were killed in that particular conflict.

This week, there were social media reports that conflict recently erupted in the North Shewa and Oromo Special zones and in the towns of Ataye and Jewha in particular.

Against this backdrop, an image came to circulate on Facebook with the claim that the image shows an ongoing conflict and violence in Ataye town. The picture shows properties being burnt. The image was shared by two Facebook pages each with over five thousand followers on Jan 24, 2023.

Yet, HaqCheck confirmed that the image was old and doesn’t show an ongoing conflict in the area.

The image was first published three years ago on Facebook in April 2019. The text that accompanied the image claims that the image shows a church destroyed by fire in the town of Ataye at that time.

Therefore, HaqCheck rated the claim as False.

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