The University of Gondar aiding the demolition of mass graves
One of the controversial issues that appeared on the Ethiopian social media platform was the report that the University of Gondar aided in removing the dead bodies of Tigrayans on which the government is alleged to commit ethnic cleansing in Welkait, an effort claimed to be disposing of evidence.
A report was published by BBC that Amhara regional authorities destructed mass graves of Tigrayans amid the UN planned investigation into violations.
The report claimed it interviewed fifteen eyewitnesses and confirmed that the dead bodies of hundreds of people were deliberately destroyed in an organized campaign to dispose of evidence of ethnic cleansing in the west of Ethiopia’s Tigray region. It stated that researchers from the university supervised the disposal of dead bodies of ethnic Tigrayans.
This counterclaim came out after a month when Amhara regional authorities claimed that with the cooperation of researchers from the University of Gondar they discovered mass graves of ethnic Amharas that were massacred by TPLF three decades ago in the areas.
The University of Gondar in a letter it wrote to BBC denied the report that its researchers aided the destruction of mass graves containing bodies of Tigrayans. It also stated that the mass graves found by its researchers a month ago were of remains of ethnic Amharas massacred by TPLF.
The journalist also claimed that she sent a letter to the university to confirm the report and didn’t get any response.
A fresh incursion by TPLF forces
Another false information that appeared on social media last week was a claim accompanied by an old and false image. HaqCheck looked into the claim that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces opened a new attack in the Tigray-Amhara border areas.
The claim emerged on a Telegram channel amid fear of a fresh military engagement between the TPLF and federal-led allied forces may occur.
However, we confirmed that the image doesn’t show a new military engagement of a recent incursion by the TPLF forces. HaqCheck found out that the image was taken during the Ethio-Eritrea border war two decades ago and was published in 2019. It was used in an article written about the evolution of the Ethiopia-Eritrea relations from the border war to the recent rapprochement.
The claim was, therefore, rated FALSE.
Eritrea ousted over thirteen thousand TPLF troops in a recent battle
The image that was mentioned above was also used in this claim that Eritrea destroyed more than thirteen thousand TPLF soldiers in a recent battle provoked by TPLF.
The Facebook post claimed that it was after TPLF attacked the Eritrean army on the night of May 8, 2022, on Badme and Rama fronts.
The post emerged after a report by BBC that on May 8, Tigray forces launched a heavy artillery attack on areas bordering Eritrea.
However, the image used in the post was old and doesn’t support the claim that Eritrea demised thirteen TPLF troops during the alleged engagement spaned for a night. The image does show Eritrean army soldiers during the Ethio-Eritrea border war two decades ago. Thus, HaqCheck rendered the post ‘FALSE’.
Lake Langano being found in Gambella Regional State
A website published a report claiming that the Ethiopia’s Lake Langano is found in the Gambella Regional State.
Langano Lake is found in Oromia Regional State 200 kilometers by road south of the capital, Addis Ababa, on the border between the East Shewa Zone and Arsi Zones. It is located near the lakes of Shalla and Abijatta.
Therefore, we confirmed the lake is found in the Oromia region, not Gambella, and rated the claim False.
The Ethiopian government recently sent troops to Wollega
A Facebook post emerged in the week sharing images with a claim that the Ethiopian government recently deployed soldiers to Wollega amid heavy fighting between the government and the Oromo Liberation Army- addressed by the government as Shane.
The post shared two images to support the claim. The first image shows convoys of military Urals and the second picture shows convoys of TATA Marcopolo buses.
HaqCheck cross-checked the images and found out that one of the two images was false. We confirmed that the first image doesn’t support the claim. The image was published in February 2021 in a Facebook post report that the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF)- Western Command demonstrated its preparedness to defend the country’s sovereignty.
Media outlets should avoid making inaccurate reports and be responsible for delivering correct information to their respective audience.
Social media content creators and figures are urged to refrain from feeding social media platforms with false and misleading information.
The government should also ensure open and full access to information for the media and the wider public. It is recommended to avail timely and sufficient information regarding ongoing matters.
Social media users are urged to be cautious and cross-check information before they share it with others or before simply adopting it.