The trend of disinformation and information disorder in the Ethiopian media landscape often varies with the course of the armed conflict in the northern part of the country. Moreover, the disinformation happened to be overhyped recurrently during times of inter-ethnic conflict and violence.

Nevertheless, the disinformation trend during the second week of the first month of this new year was comparatively limited. There were controversies, but most of them were mere opinions and are not worthwhile to be included in this summary.

We also observed fewer false claims emerged mainly on Facebook. Here are the notable controversies that were observed on social media and false claims fact-checked by HaqCheck.

Celebration marking the release of TPLF officials

A viral video was posted by a Facebook page that has more than 52 thousand followers on Jan 10, claiming that the video shows a celebration marking the release of Sebhat Nega, a co-founder and former chairman of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). 

The caption of the video post reads “The celebration of the release of Sebehat Nega and Abay Woldu in Addis Ababa.” At the time, the video had more than one thousand reactions and two hundred shares and was viewed by over 81 thousand users.

However, the video is proved to be old, taken from previous publications. HaqCheck interrogated the video clip and found out that it was posted four years ago on YouTube. The description of the original video clip on YouTube claims that Sebhat Nega was celebrating a birthday party with his family in Addis Ababa.

TPLF military truck destroyed by a drone attack

Another disinformation piece that was rendered FALSE by HaqCheck last week was a Facebook post that claimed to show a truck belonging to the TPLF destroyed by a drone attack. The post stated that TPLF launched an attack on the Humera front during the Orthodox Christmas and action was taken in response by the government. Other Facebook pages also posted the image with the same claim.

However, the image is Checked out to be false and does not prove the claim. HaqCheck found out that the image was posted on Dec 26, 2021, on a website with a claim that the truck was destroyed by TPLF forces in Kombolcha town, Amhara Regional State.

Government to disarm Amhara militia

Last week there was a controversy regarding an alleged document drafted by the Ethiopian government. Based on the alleged document, many claims appeared that the government is preparing to disarm Amhara militia (a.k.a Fano) in the Amhara Regional State.

The Amhara Prosperity Party issued a defensive statement that the document circulating on social media was somewhat altered. It explained that part of the document that elaborates the contribution of the Amhara people during the war with the TPLF was intentionally cut out of the document.

Besides, the Amhara regional government said that the claim that the government will disarm Fano (armed militia) is false.

However, the controversy continued. Social media posts appeared claiming the Amhara regional government had been calling armed militia (Fanos) to emergency meetings at localities.


HaqCheck recommends social media users be conscious of the origin and intention of the unverified information posted on social media platforms. They should question the authenticity of the information before they read and share it with others. They should identify trustable pages and sources to grasp the crux of the issue.

The public should be provided with up-to-date information by the government and relevant media outlets. Information discrepancy always prompts controversies and disinformation. Offering sufficient information is the best and most efficient way to prevent disinformation.

Social media influencers and content creators should also be responsible for their activities on the platforms. They should avoid feeding false and damaging information that can misinform people and may trigger offenses.

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