Engagement between OLA/GLF and government forces
One of the claims that appeared during the week and were debunked by HaqCheck was an image-related claim that contends the image showed a military engagement between the government and rebel forces. A Facebook page shared the post on June 24, 2022, captioned, “OLA [Oromo Liberation Army] and GLF [Gambella Liberation Front], two militant groups fighting the Ethiopian government, have engaged in fierce combat. The two military forces have entered the capital of the Gambella region.”
The post attracted many audiences and received hundreds of shares and reactions.
The post presented two images in a bid to prove the claim. HaqCheck looked into the claim and found out that one of the two images was shared previously on Facebook. The original post stated that the image shows a military attack by the TPLF forces on the Ethiopian government-allied forces a year ago.
The second image is published on a website called OLAcommunique.com on Oct 20, 2021, detailing updates on OLA’s operation. The article relates the claimed victory OLA achieved in the Bule Hora, Gumi Eldalo, and Saba Boru districts. HaqCheck spotted the image in the article with the caption, “destroyed patrol vehicle in Bule Hora”.
Therefore, HaqCheck rated the image-backed claim False.
Sudan opening a fresh military attack on Ethiopia
Another claim was that Sudan had been opening a fresh military attack on Ethiopian forces along the Ethiopia-Sudanese border. A Facebook page published a post with two images on July 03, 2022, claiming that Sudan has pressurized Ethiopia by employing military incursions. The post managed to get hundreds of reactions and shares on the same platform.
HaqCheck looked into the images and confirmed that one out of the two images was old. The second image was taken from an old publication and didn’t show Sudan’s heavy weapons that arrived at the Ethiopian border.
The image was previously published in June 2011 on a news site along with an article that military engagement between Sudanese and South Sudanese forces on contested territories seemed imminent at the moment.
Thus, the post was rendered Partly False by HaqCheck due to the lack of relevance between the image and the claim.
Monkeypox outbreak in Ethiopia
There was a controversy regarding a monkeypox outbreak in Ethiopia during the week. The Ethiopian Reporter newspaper said that two people had been quarantined after being suspected of monkeypox.
The quarantined people, according to the newspaper, were isolated until the cases are confirmed by laboratories abroad where the samples are sent.
However, the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia denied the claim and announced that the information by the newspaper that two people had been isolated after being suspected of acquiring monkeypox was false.
The Ministry said that no suspect had been identified or caught the virus so far.
HaqCheck urges social media content creators to be responsible and avoid fabricating false and misleading information across social media platforms.
Media organizations and news outlets are recommended that they should avail accurate and sufficient reporting on matters of interest to the public.
We urge the government and public authorities to offer the media and public timely and sufficient information. Open access to information should be guaranteed.
HaqCheck recommends social media users be skeptical of controversial information and look for other trustable sources to cross-check the information at hand.