A facebook page by the name Meles Bisrat which has 44,091 followers as of December 7, 2020 came out with a claim that the Ethiopian Federal Police was using a brand new helicopter to search and apprehend TPLF officials still at large in the Tigray region. Haqcheck has interrogated the image thoroughly to conclude that the claim made in the post shown below is false. 

The page posted a photo that shows a helicopter with the logo and name of the Federal Police of Ethiopia with the claim that the owner of the page had heard from internal sources that the above helicopter was owned by the Federal police and currently being used by the police forces to apprehend TPLF leaders at large in the Tigray region.

Granted, currently the forces led by the Ethiopian government are actively engaged in the search and apprehension of the TPLF leadership that was forced to depart from the capital Mekele on November 29, 2020. It is also true that the Federal Police of Ethiopia was amongst the forces tasked at completing what the government called a “law enforcement operation” in the Tigray region following the attack on the Northern Command by the Tigray paramilitary special police and militia. 

Image 1: Original Picture 

Image 2: Doctored Image (Image used in Meles Bisrat’s Post)

A reverse image search of the image used by the page Meles Bisrat to support the claim that the Federal police was using the above helicopter for the said purpose shows that the picture was altered to include the name and logo of the Federal Police of Ethiopia contrary to the claim. The image was taken by Korean photographer Jang SuLee in 2013 and first published on 2 January 2014. According to the information about the picture, the picture was of a demo flight for the Chamsuri KUH-1P helicopter which is widely used by the Korean police. The helicopters are produced by the Korean Aerospace Industries. The Korean police recently ordered two more Chamsuri Helicopters from the Korean Aerospace Industries on top of the eight choppers it is already using. 

Even though the Federal Police has been partaking in the conflict and remains engaged in the bid to apprehend TPLF leadership at large in the region, HaqCheck has interrogated the post claiming the police force was doing so with the aid of helicopters and found it to be false. 

Fact Checked by: Bruck Negash Teame 

Edited by: Wongel Tamene 

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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