On December 11, 2020 a facebook post was published by a facebook user named Selam Nkulu (an account with 3418 friends and 1337 followers) sharing the picture below of men who handle chopper billhook in their hands with the claim that the people in the image are responsible for the Mai Kadra massacre. The text – which is written in Amharic- translates to read “let the image be archived properly, these men [the six individuals in the picture] are among those who will be held accountable. The image shows who partook in the Mai Kadra massacre.” However, HaqCheck has confirmed that the picture below doesn’t show the realities during the Mai Kadra incident, rendering the verdict FALSE for the claim by the facebook user.

Granted, it is true that at the cusp of the current conflict on November 9 and 10 there were mass killings of civilians based on their ethnic identity with numbers as high as 600. The massacre of civilians was executed amidst armed conflict between the Federal government and the TPLF led Tigray special police and militia. According to the government, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and other international and local outlets, the attacks were jointly carried out by local authorities in Mai Kadra and an extremist group known as Samri which is made up of youth from Tigray. According to the preliminary study conducted by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (ECHR) over 600 civilians were killed during the massacre which was carried out on November 9 and 10, 2020. It is also true that according to the ECHR and Amnesty International, the perpetrators of the mass and gruesome killings in the Mai Kadra town used machetes, axes, sharp objects and ropes to claim lives of ethnic Amhara and Wolkait Ethiopians living in the town. Currently investigations are underway according to the ECHR, even though the Spokesperson of the State of Emergency in Tigray Task Force, Redwan Hussien said that no independent external investigation will be allowed on the Mai Kadra killings. 

Image 1: Altered Image

Image 2: Original Image (ebisa )

However, a reverse image search of the image that was posted by the facebook account indicates that the picture is not of the incident in Mai Kadra in which over 600 people were killed. The picture was published for the first time on twitter by the name ebisa on July 10, 2020. At the time, ebisa posted four images along with the above one with a text that reads “#Justice for Oromo people in [the] Empire of Ethiopia? #AbiyMustGo.” The post can be accessed using the following link

HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the picture was not captured during the current crises in the northern part of the country and that it does not support the claim of the persons in the picture partook in the killing. Based on this HaqCheck has rated the above post as FALSE for posting the picture to support the claim. 

Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak

Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame

The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking running in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English)

Editor’s Note: 

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 (Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English. Addis Zeybe will also be publishing monthly pandemic impact assessment and human rights reports in the coming months.

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