The trend of the Ethiopian social media landscape was dominated by claims related to conflict and violence in Oromia regional state during the first week of January.
HaqCheck observed many images with claims that houses were being demolished in Addis Ababa. But we couldn’t confirm any of the images.
Below are the false claims that circulated on the Ethiopian social media landscape during the week.
An altered image that the Oromo Liberation Army preparing to attack Amhara civilians in Wollega
Two Facebook pages shared an image on Dec 10, 2022, claiming that the Oromo Liberation Front [Army] along with the Oromia Special Police Force was preparing to attack Amhara civilians in Wollega.
The Facebook posts went viral on the platform and gained many reactions. They were shared over two hundred fifty times on Facebook.
The Facebook posts used a fabricated image that is made up of two different images. An image that allegedly shows Kumsa Diriba, the commander of the OLA was amalgamated and photoshopped into another image.
However, HaqCheck couldn’t confirm whether the second image was true or false.
A false image of Amharas recently executed in Oromia
A photo was shared on Facebook on Dec 5, 2022, with a claim that the picture shows ethnic Amharas recently executed in the Oromia region. The post claimed that genocide was being committed against ethnic Amharas in Wollega of the Oromia region.
Yet, HaqCheck confirmed that the picture was old and was previously published in August 2020.
The image was first published by a Somali news website. The description of the original picture states that the image shows two Somali soldiers publicly executed for allegedly raping a 10-years old boy in Baidoa, a city in the South West region of Somalia.
Therefore, HaqCheck rated the post False for using an inaccurate image to support the claim.
HaqCheck recommends social media users be skeptical and always look for additional information for a potentially misleading claim. They should cross-check controversial claims they encounter on social media platforms.
Government authorities and other agencies are urged to provide timely and sufficient information regarding ongoing public affairs.
The lack of access to information is among the main factors behind disinformation dissemination. Government and other organizations should guarantee the right of citizens and the media to have access to information.