Wolkait mass grave controversy
One of the controversies last week was about mass graves claimed to be found in Wolkait. Amhara Media Corporation (AMC) reported that the University of Gondar found mass graves of ethnic Amharas killed and buried by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) since 1982.
It stated that the university was conducting research in the area on the secret prisons belonging to the TPLF and came across mass graves in the vicinity.
Counterclaims came out instantly alleging that the Amhara regional government was clearing the trace of dead bodies of ethnic Tigrayans killed by the government itself. They claimed that this report came amid the decision by the UN to dispatch the independent investigative commission into human rights violations.
The progress and status of the US Congress draft bills on Ethiopia
Last week, media outlets including state-owned ones reported that the American Congress decided to drop the draft bills of S3199 and HR6600.
They claimed that the draft bills were held up because of the humanitarian truce declared by the Ethiopian government and endorsed by TPLF.
However, there were counterclaims that the draft bills were not dropped or held up.
The two draft bills were sent to the US Senate and House of Representatives by respective Foreign Affairs Committees to be voted on.
However, there is no official information from the US government about the current status and progress of these draft bills.
Public spaces being plowed at Lemi Kura
HaqCheck debunked an image-backed false information last week that had been circulating on Facebook.
The Facebook post shared an image and claimed that those who have a special privilege are grabbing land including public spaces in the Lemi Kura sub-city. It stated that the land shown being plowed was a playground (stadium) in Ayat.
However, HaqCheck confirmed that the image used to prove the claim was taken from an old online publication. The image was published for the first time in May 2019 along with an article titled “Addis Ababa’s football fields are being transformed into a farm by those who say they are lords of the time.”
Therefore, Haqcheck rendered the claim FALSE.
HaqCheck recommends social media users cross-check information, images, videos, and their sources beforehand. They should be skeptical and should avoid sharing social media claims instantly.
HaqCheck urges media outlets to be responsible and abstain from circulating disinformation. This also applies to social media content creators.
The government should ensure open information access and rights. The public and media need to get full access to information. Lack of information fuels disinformation tendencies both online and offline.