Eritrean troops destroying forests in Tigray
HaqCheck came across a Facebook post sharing two images with a claim that Eritrean troops were destroying forests in Adiyabo, a locality in the northwestern zone of Tigray bordered by Eritrea.
The Eritrea Defence Forces, Amhara regional militia, and other armed forces were involved in the war alongside the federal government of Ethiopia against TPLF forces.
The TPLF authorities and media outlets had accused Eritrean troops of atrocities and looting.
Eritrean troops withdrew from major towns in the Tigray regional state and pooled into the border areas after the Ethiopian government and the TPLF signed the peace treaty.
Nonetheless, the TPLF authorities recently stated that Eritrean troops were still in the regional state of Tigray and didn’t fully withdraw.
The claim that Eritrean soldiers were destroying forests in Tigray appeared amid this backdrop.
Yet, the images don’t prove the claim. The first image was posted on March 26, 2019, by Deutsche Welle (DW).
The second picture was published by the BBC News Tigrinya on Mar 27, 2021.
Impersonation of government officials
One of the controversies that appeared in the Ethiopian social media landscape last week was a Twitter account in the name of Alamu Sime, Ethiopian Minister of Transport and Logistics.
The Twitter account which has more than 10 thousand followers makes many controversial comments and posts. But one particular post triggered controversy on social media.
On Mar 3, 2023, the Twitter account wrote, “If you don’t stop the protestation [against the government], you may never see the statue [Menelik II Statue] again.”
The controversial post emerged after a dispute between law enforcement officers and the Adwa Victory Day celebrators broke out on Mar 2, 2023, in Menelik Square.
Nearly 100 thousand users saw the Twitter post and it was shared over two hundred times on the platform.
Later on, it was reported that the Twitter account doesn’t belong to the Minister of Transport and Logistics, Alemu Sime.
HaqCheck recommends social media users be skeptical of unverified social media accounts and the information and post that came out of these accounts.
The impersonated accounts disseminate potentially false and fraudulent information. Social media users should look for additional information and should avoid hasty reactions.
We urge government offices and other institutions to provide the public with timely updates and clarifications.
Social media content creators should also be responsible and refrain from disseminating false disinformation.