On Jan 23, 2023, a Facebook page, followed by more than six thousand users shared a video claiming that houses belonging to ethnic Oromos were torched in an ongoing conflict in the Oromo Special Zone of the Amhara region. The post also claimed that armed militias were killing Oromos and looting houses.
The Facebook post went viral and got many reactions on the platform.
HaqCheck, however, found out that the image was old and does not support the claim. Therefore, the post was rated False.
Intercommunal conflicts have been recurrently occurring in the Oromo Special zone and the adjacent North Shewa zone in the Amhara regional state.
Recently, social media reports indicate that there was an ongoing conflict in areas of the two volatile zones.
On Jan 24, 2023, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) released a statement stating that there was a coordinated attack by Amhara regional authorities against ethnic Oromos in the Oromo Special zone.
The statement claimed that regional security forces and militias assaulted civilians on Jan 21, 2023, torched houses, and looted properties.
The OLF stated that more than 65 civilians were killed during the ongoing conflict.
It is in this context a Facebook post emerged on Jan 24, 2023, sharing a video that shows torched houses. The post claimed that the video shows Oromo houses being burnt in an ongoing conflict in the Amhara region.
The video, however, does not support the claim. The video was made up of images by converting a picture into a moving image or video.
The image that was used to fabricate the video was taken from an old publication made on Dec 23, 2020.
The original image was published along with a report that many civilians were massacred in the Metekel zone of Benishangul Gumuz.
Therefore, the post was rated False.