Soldiers being transported to the Amhara region
On August 26, 2023, an X (Twitter) account shared an image that they claimed showed Ethiopian military personnel being transported by helicopter to the Amhara region amid the ongoing conflict.
Despite the Ethiopian government’s recapture of many areas, including major cities, from Fano militia groups in the Amhara region, fighting and armed clashes between the Ethiopian military and Fano militia groups continued.
In this context, an X (Twitter) post appeared that shared an image allegedly showing Ethiopian military soldiers being transported by helicopter to the Amhara region amid the ongoing conflict.
HaqCheck investigated the claim and found that the image does not support the claim. The original photo appeared in a video clip that was shared on Facebook on August 2, 2021. The video clip described Ethiopian Airlines as being involved in ethnic cleansing, transporting soldiers, logistics, and weapons to the war in Tigray.
Birhanu Juna said Fano seize ENDF tanks
On August 28, 2023, a Facebook page shared a video that falsely claimed that Field Marshal Burhanu Jula, chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) had recently said that Fano militants in the Amhara region had seized countless tanks from the ENDF during the ongoing conflict.
In the video clip, the chief of staff is seen saying, “They took countless tanks and weapons from us”. This claim was made amid intensified conflict between Fano militants and the Ethiopian government in the Amhara region.
However, HaqCheck confirmed that the video clip does not support the claim. The clip was taken from a video posted on YouTube in October 2021 by the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT). The video is an interview with the chief of staff about the armed conflict between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian government at the time. In the video, Field Marshal Birhanu Jula says that the TPLF forces took countless tanks and weapons from the ENDF.
HaqCheck’s investigation found that the video clip was taken out of context. The chief of staff was not referring to the Fano militants in the Amhara region but to the TPLF forces.
Christian Tadelle was released from detention
On August 9, 2023, a TikTok page with over 12,000 followers shared a video that they claimed showed Christian Tadelle, a member of the House of People Representatives who had been detained, being released from detention.
The Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency and arrested people, including politicians and opposition party leaders. Christian Tadelle, a former executive of the National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) and member of the House of People’s Representatives, was among those arrested. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission confirmed that he was detained in Awash Arba.
Against this backdrop, a TikTok video surfaced claiming that Tadelle had been released from detention.
However, HaqCheck investigated the claim and confirmed that the video did not support it. The original video was found to have been published on March 9, 2020, on the YouTube channel of Asrat Media. It showed Tadelle speaking at a public discussion event.
Social media users should be cautious about misleading and controversial claims. They should look for additional information such as fact-checks for potential false claims. They should also be aware of the techniques used to spread disinformation, such as using sensational headlines and creating fake accounts.
Government offices and other entities should provide timely updates to the public. This is especially important during times of crisis when there is a lot of uncertainty and misinformation circulating. Governments should also be transparent about their activities and decisions.
The government should guarantee the right of citizens and the media to open and secure access to information. This includes the right to access government records, to report on sensitive topics, and to express dissenting views.