The facebook post by the page Yenepost – a page with over 230,000 followers – had posted twelve pictures showing the situation of Tigrian refugees in Sudan with claims that the number of refugees had reached 50,000 by November 30 and that all the refugees in the camp weren’t women. Haqcheck has interrogated the post and concluded that while the latter claim was true the first claim about the number of refugees was false.
Since the onset of the conflict in the Tigray region between the Ethiopian National Defence Forces and Amhara Regional Forces on November 4, 2020, thousands have fled to neighbouring Sudan. Since then, thousands of asylum seekers have crossed the border to neighbouring Sudan via border towns like Hamdayet, Lugdi and Abderafi.
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed (PhD) while addressing the parliament on November 30, 2020 said that the Ethiopian refugees who fled to Sudan due to the war in Tigray are men and there are no women and children among the migrants. The first claim in the post about refugees in Sudan including women and children is true despite the claims of the Prime minister during the address to the parliament located here at 45:12. However, according to the UNHCR report issued on 2 December 2020, 43% of the refugees in Sudanese camps are women while 45% are under the age of 17. Therefore, HaqCheck has concluded that the claim in the facebook post stating that the assertion by the prime minister regarding that no women and children have sought refuge in Sudan Sudan is true because all of the refugees in Sudan are not male or adults. Only 57% are male and 55% are over the age of 18.
However, the second claim in the post stating that the number of Ethiopian refugees had reached 50,000 as of 30 November 2020 (the date of the post) is not true. According to the UNHCR, the number of refugees in Sudan was 46,412 as of December 2, 2020 instead of 50,000. Therefore, HaqCheck has concluded that the second claim about the number of refugees reaching the above figure is false.
After conflict broke out between the federal government and TPLF-led Tigray government thousands of people are migrating from Tigray and north-western parts of the country to Sudan.
Reverse image searches of the images in the post show that the pictures are Ethiopian migrants who have fled the war in Tigray to Sudan. The eighth image was first published on the Washington Post on November 18, 2020. The tenth, eleventh and twelfth images were respectively published in UNHCR, Aljazeera, and Darfur24 News Website and they show Ethiopian refugees in Sudan who fled the war in Tigray. The remaining pictures could not be located in any of our fact checking tools.
Image 8: Washington Post (After fleeing to Sudan, Ethiopians from Tigray recount brutal killings)
Image 10: UNHCR (Aid urgently needed for Ethiopians streaming into Sudan)
Image 11: Aljazeera (In Pictures: Ethiopians fleeing war cross river into Sudan)
Image 12: Darfur24 News Website (Over 38 thousand Ethiopian refugees arrive in eastern Sudan)
Granted, there were women and children refugees in Sudan who have crossed the border due to the war in Tigray at the time the facebook post was shared. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and rated it as partly true due to the inaccuracy/exaggeration of the number of refugees in Sudan the post claims.
Fact Checked: by Hagos Gebreamlak
Edited: by Bruck Negash Teame
The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking initiative which runs in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English)
The following article was published as part of Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking initiative. As the reconstruction of our website continues, Addis Zeybe would like its readers to note that it will be publishing fact checking articles on a permanent basis in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English. Addis Zeye will also be publishing monthly pandemic impact assessment and human rights reports in the coming months.