A false image of the alleged attack in Ataye
An image-backed claim appeared on Facebook last week that armed Amhara militias assaulted Oromos in Ataye. A Facebook page shared the post on Jul 12, captioned “Amhara extremists have turned back to Ataye because their deadliest massacre plan in Wollega has not worked out.”
The Page uses the map of the Amhara region and from the map points to an image claiming to show Amhara militias in the fortress.
The claim followed reports of a fresh conflict in Ataye, a town in the northern Shewa Zone of the Amhara region. There were different reports of gunfire in Ataye.
HaqCheck inspected the image used to support the claim that Amhara armed militias opened an attack on Ataye. It is found that the image was published on May 12, 2015, on a website called intriguing history.com under the title “New Data Register of the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902”.
HaqCheck rendered the image-accompanied claim False as the image used by the post was inaccurate.
Yonas Zewde’s claimed resignation due to rampant government corruption
A viral claim appeared on Facebook on July 14 reporting that Yonas Zewde, the head of the Communications Office of the Addis Ababa City Administration, resigned from his position. The post further explained that the communications head resigned because of widespread corruption within the current government and that the administration doesn’t care about the future of the country.
The claim that Yonas Zewde recently resigned from his post followed the controversy over the condo houses lottery draw.
Yonas Zewde was appointed by the Mayor to be the head of the City Administration’s communication head last year.
Al Ain Amharic reported quoting him a few days ago that the former communications head Yonas Zewde is just assigned to another post. Yonas’ transfer to another position is also confirmed in the report by Abdi Tsegaye, the current head of the Communications Office who succeeded Yonas.
HaqCheck however confirmed that the former Addis Ababa City Administration communications head did not resign from his position. Yonas Zewde was just assigned to another position by the administration.
Controversy over a recent condominium lottery draw
A condominium lottery draw was conducted by Addis Ababa City Administration on July 8, 2022. The draw was followed by widespread controversies.
Addis Ababa city administration dismissed the recent condominium lottery draw due to a claimed tech tampering by officials within the city administration.
False claims emerged immediately after the draw. Among the viral controversies was that Muluken Haftu, former head of the City Administration’s Innovation and Technology Bureau, and Yasmin Wohabrebbi, head of the Housing Development Bureau were arrested in relation to the lottery drawing fraud.
Muluken Haftu was not arrested at the time. But on July 15, the Addis Ababa City Council revoked the immunity of its member, Mulukun Habtu in connection with alleged links with tech tampering by the city administration officials. He was taken into custody after the meeting on the same day.
Yasmin Wohabrebbi, head of the Housing Development Bureau also has not yet been detained or accused in relation to the public houses lottery draw controversy. She said on July 16, that her office apologizes to the residents of the city. Yasmin stated that her office will cooperate with [the police] to hold those who are responsible for the problem accountable.
HaqCheck urges social media users to be skeptical and crosscheck information including the authenticity and source. They should look for additional information and credible sources.
It is also recommended that social media content creators refrain from being agents of disinformation.
We urge the government to guarantee full access to information to the media and the wider public. Government offices should provide the public with timely and sufficient information on ongoing matters as one way of tackling disinformation.
HaqCheck also urges political parties, media outlets, government offices, and other entities to avoid disinformative statements.