On May 26, 2022, a picture tweet appeared on a Twitter page with the description phrase, “Dead bodies of Amhara civilians in Gojjam. These victims were killed by the government forces.”

At the time this article was published, the tweet was shared 40 times and got 47 reactions.

However, HaqCheck interrogated the image and confirmed that the image doesn’t show dead bodies of Amhara civilians in Gojam killed by the Government recently.

Tensions between the Fano militia and the federal government has been rising in the Amhara region over the past few months. Last week, tensions came to a head and several rounds of clashes were reported as regional special forces attempted to arrest or disarm Fano militia leaders. 

A crackdown on Amhara ethno-nationalist actors, including members of the seat-holding National Movement of the Amhara (NaMA) party, journalists, and individuals throughout Amhara region is reported to signify a new rift in the relationship between Amhara ethno-nationalists and the Amhara Prosperity Party.

From the federal government’s perspective, Fano militias operate outside of the federal government’s command structure and are thus a threat to the safety and security of Ethiopia.

Violence began last week shortly after Amhara regional authorities issued a decree requesting that all weapons be registered by the end of the week. According to the regional government, a “law enforcement operation” was necessary for the Amhara region given a recent spate of smuggling incidents, shootings, and interference with court decisions.

As part of the operation, over 4,500 people have been arrested. The regional government reaffirmed that this operation is not against Fano militias but against “criminals” who operate under the Fano name. However, for many in the region, the language of the decree and the following government’s actions were understood as a crackdown on Amhara ethno-nationalist interests and actors.

Last week, on 19 May, members of Fano and government forces clashed in Mota in East Gojam zone of the Amhara region after government forces entered the area and attempted to disarm the group’s members. At least two people were killed and 15 others were injured.

The tweet is published taking advantage of this situation and HaqCheck found that the image used in the post is from a report published on a website in 2015 titled “Ethnic Based Massacre & Genocide Of Ethiopia (2003 – 2018)”

Therefore, HaqCheck confirmed that the image used to support the claim is old and does not relate to the claim to represent the recent news reported by the post, and rated it FALSE.

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