On July 8 Maleda tvnetwork, a Facebook page created in 2019 with more than 15,000 followers, posted Amharic news with a headline “It’s confirmed that Eritrean refugees are being killed in Tigray after the national army withdrew”. The post attributed Al Ain Amharic, a news outlet, as a source. HaqCheck looked into the post.
Since 4 November 2020, there has been an armed conflict between the TPLFand Federal government-led forces in Tigray Region. The federal government controlled the regional capital city, Mekelle on 28 November 2020. It has also announced that it has captured senior officials and military officers of the TPLF. . But instabilities keep going in the region even after the federal government controlled the regional state. After 8 months of active conflicts, it was reported that Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) withdrawn from the region and the federal government has declared a unilateral ceasefire ahead of the summer farming season, better delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need, and seeking a political and timely solution, following a request from the Tigry interim government. Following the ceasefire, the federal army left Tigray.
On July 7 The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) tweeted “UNHCR is aware of reports of the alleged killing of Eritrean refugees in Tigray last week. We take such reports very seriously & have immediately contacted our staff, partners + Eritrean refugees in the Shire. We have not so far been able to corroborate any of the information received.”
HaqCheck looked into the image posted both by Al-Ain Amharic and Maleda tvnetwork. A reverse image search of the image shows that the image was first posted on Twitter by Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), on March 4th, announcing that ARRA relocated 295 Eritrean refugees to Mai-Aini and Adi-Harush camps. HaqCheck observed that the posts on July 8, by both the pages mentioned above, don’t have an image description and source, rating the post as misleading due to the false connection between the Image and the content.
HaqCheck also observed that the headline of the post, by Maleda tv network saying “It’s confirmed that Eritrean refugees are being killed in Tigray after the national army withdrew” doesn’t match with the content of the original source of the news which was reported by Al-Ain Amharic. As of the time the picture was posted on Facebook and this article was written, the UNHCR didn’t confirm the information, and also they emphasized that “they have not corroborated any of the information received.” in their latest tweet.
Based on the above reasons, HaqCheck rendered the Facebook post, claiming that the killing of the Eritrean refugees has been confirmed as Misleading.