HaqCheck did not debunk claims during the third week of January 2023. However, we observed controversies looming across the Ethiopian social media landscape.

Below are some of the controversies that appeared last week.

Withdrawal of Eritrean soldiers from Tigray

One of the controversies that emerged last week was the status of Eritrean soldiers in the Tigray region. Controversy about whether Eritrean troops were leaving Tigray was observed on the Ethiopian social media landscape.

International media outlets such as the Associated Press reported that Eritrean troops started withdrawing from Tigray.

The peace deal between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF says that foreign and non-ENDF forces should withdraw from Tigray concurrently with the disarmament of TPLF’s heavy weapons.

The United States and some European countries repeatedly said that Eritrean troops should leave the Tigray region.

Last week, Olusegun Obasanjo told the Financial Times that Eritrean soldiers were at the border. TPLF leaders, Getachew Reda and Kindeya Gebrehiwot wrote on their Twitter pages that Eritrean troops had not left the regional state and were still in Tigray. 

Later, the news that Eritrean soldiers were seen leaving Tigray regional state towns such as Shire and Aksum came out at the end of last week.

Controversy followed the information. Many social media posts appeared claiming that the information was false and that Eritrean soldiers were still in Tigray.

HaqCheck observed many social media posts mainly written in Tigrinya that Eritrean soldiers had not started leaving the Tigray regional state.

TPLF suspended top party leaders

A Facebook page with over one million and seven hundred thousand followers published a news article stating that the TPLF suspended five Executive Committee members during a recent meeting. The Facebook post attracted thousands of engagements and controversy across social media platforms.

According to the information, the top party leaders who were suspended were Debretsion Gebremichael, Fetlewerk Gebregziabher, Getachew Assefa, Alem Gebrewahd, and Getachew Reda.

The claim prompted social media controversy. Kindeya Gebrehiwot, a member of the TPLF Executive Committee denied the claim on his Twitter page.


We urge social media users to be skeptical and cross-check potentially misleading claims. They should look for additional sources for claims before reacting or before sharing them with others.

HaqCheck recommends social media content creators and influencers be responsible and refrain from circulating false and misleading information on social media.

Government offices and other eligible entities are recommended to offer timely information to the media and the public.

We urge the government and civil organizations to help realize the right of citizens to have access to information.

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