HaqCheck observed some false social media posts during the third week of November. Below are some of the debunked claims circulated across various social media platforms.
A design of a satellite town to be built in Addis Ababa
False images allegedly showing a design of a satellite town to be built in Addis Ababa were circulating across the Ethiopian social media landscape. On Nov 18, 2022, a Facebook post shared four images claiming that the images are of a design of the satellite town also known as Chaka Project.
However, the images don’t show the design of the so-called satellite town.
The images were old and show designs of other projects such as Entoto Natural Park, a hotel in Russia, and a smart forest city in Mexico.
Thus, the post was rated False.
Civilians killed in a drone attack in Oromia
Another claim HaqCheck debunked during the week was that the Ethiopian government conducted an aerial strike in the town of Mendi, in Wallagga, Oromia, and civilians were killed. A Twitter post shared two pictures and a cartoon image to support the claim.
However, HaqCheck cross-checked the authenticity of the pictures and confirmed that one of the images was taken from an old publication.
The first picture was taken from a Facebook post made on Jan 18, 2020. The post claimed that it shows a Uzbekistani fighter jet conducting an exercise.
But, HaqCheck could not verify whether the second picture is old or new. The picture is taken from a video clip that was recently circulating on Twitter.
Thus, the post was rated Partly False.
TPLF burying [hiding] weapons and ammunition
HaqCheck came across a viral Facebook post made on Nov 18, 2022, sharing four images to support a claim that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was burying [hiding] weapons and ammunition.
Nonetheless, the images don’t support the claim.
The first image was taken from a website and allegedly shows underground LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) tanks made by a manufacturer in China.
The second picture is of a surviving World War II tank which was dug up in May 2017.
The third image was first published by Reuters on Jul 27, 2021, and shows abandoned ammunition boxes in Tigray. The fourth picture was captured by the New York Times and it shows munitions and an upturned truck abandoned by the Ethiopian military.
Therefore, the post was rated False.
HaqCheck urges social media users to be conscious of potentially false and controversial social media posts and should look for additional sources for dubious claims.
We recommend the government and other relevant entities ensure the right of the public to full access to information. Government bodies should avail timely and sufficing updates for the public and the media.
Social media personalities are recommended to be responsible and avoid making and circulating false and misleading information.