The pictures in the post by Ethio Media – a facebook page with over 255,000 followers – used to support the claim that Ethiopia has bought modern fighter jets from France do not support the above claim. However, Haqcheck can confirm that there were initiatives within the Ethiopian government to purchase fighter jets from the French government, leading it to the conclusion that the post is FALSE. 

The facebook post that emerged on December 7, 2020 shows one Russian made Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter and a French drone to support the claim that Ethiopia has procured fighter jets from France. It claims Ethiopia procured fighter jets, drones, and a nuclear missile that is able to travel upto 6,000 kilometers. The post uses the pictures in support of its claim.

It is true that the Ethiopian government has been increasing the capacity of its airforce in the past two years. According to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed’s (PHD) statement at the recent parliament address to clarify the country’s  situation, the military has been increasing the technological and institutional capacity of its air force. It is also true that several news outlets including VOA news and the Military Blog reported such initiatives. VOA reported in March 2019 of a military cooperation to boost the Naval services of the Ethiopian National Defence Forces and the Military blog on the other hand reported that the Ethiopian prime minister had requested a loan to facilitate the purchase of several transport, multipurpose and military aircrafts and helicopters. However, there have been no confirmed deals pertaining to the purchase of any helicopters, choppers, jets or other vehicles from the French government as of yet. 

A reverse image search of the first image indicates that the picture is of a Russian-made Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircraft that was sold to Argentina in December 2017. The picture was first published in December, 2017 on; an online blog and can be accessed with the following link.

Image One: MiG29 fighter aircraft sold to Argentina in 2017

The second picture on the other hand was a French drone taken while in flight in Niamey, the capital of Niger in 2014. A reverse image search indicates that the image was first published in the UK Defence Journal in November 2019 and can be accessed with the following link.

Image Two: French unmanned aircraft (drone) in action in Niamey, Niger in 2019

Granted, the Ethiopian government has been investing in its air force since the introduction of the current administration and France was one of its prospective partners in this regard considering the information out there. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and rated it as FALSE information due to the inaccuracy of the claim vis a vis the pictures.

Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak

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)

Editor’s Note: 

The following article was published as part of Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking initiative. As the reconstruction of our website continues, Addis Zeybe would like its readers to note that it will be publishing fact checking articles on a permanent basis in five languages (Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English. Addis Zeye will also be publishing monthly pandemic impact assessment and human rights reports in the coming months.

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