The social media landscape and the trend of information dissemination was dominated by false claims that are of the recent alleged resumption of fighting in the northern parts of the country.
All the claims that were fact-checked during the week were related to the resumption of fighting between the TPLF and the Ethiopian government.
In this summary are included the claims that were debunked by HaqCheck last week.
Ethiopian and Eritrean joint attack via Adyabo
An image posted on Facebook on Sep 1, 2022, claimed that the Ethiopian and Eritrean forces jointly launched fresh attacks against the TPLF-led forces via northwestern Tigray, Adyabo.
On Aug 16, 2022, TPLF announced that the federal government already violated the cessation of hostilities jointly declared at the end of March. The TPLF said that the armed forces of the federal government fired artillery and attacked its forces.
It further announced that the main intention of the attacks by the federal government was to launch an integrated attack on the western front.
However, Haqcheck confirmed that the image doesn’t show Ethiopian and Eritrean troops recently launching fresh attacks through northwestern Tigray, Adiyabo. The image is found to be old, posted nine months ago on Dec 20, 2021.
The image was first published on a website nine months ago on Dec 20, 2021, along with an article regarding the ongoing war in Ethiopia.
Recently seized weapons in Raya Front
A Facebook page with more than 120 thousand followers shared a post on Sep 3, 2022, captioned “430 Kalashnikov and other weapons were captured at Raya front….”.
However, the images are found to be old and were first published in a news video on Amhara Media Corporations’ Youtube channel published on Feb 2, 2022.
The video also shows surrendered members of the claimed rebel group. Therefore, HaqCheck inspected the images and rendered the images used to support the claim False.
False image of an alleged air strike in Mekelle
On Aug 31, 2022, a Facebook post claimed that the Ethiopian government conducted an aerial strike in Mekelle in the middle of the night using drones. It presented two images as proof. The post also alleged that Ayder Hospital was also bombarded during the drone attack. The post was shared close to one thousand times.
However, HaqCheck confirmed that the images don’t show the alleged recent aerial bombardment in Mekelle.
The first image is from Syria and was taken on Oct 18, 2014. This image was published by the VOA.
The second image which pictures a woman, a running person, the Mekelle Martyrs’ memorial monument, and an airplane is found to be photoshopped. Thus, HaqCheck rated the post False.
False footage of a drone strike on TPLF leaders
A video was shared on Facebook and YouTube with a claim that the footage shows Ethiopian drone strikes on the leaders of the TPLF.
However, the footage is not of ongoing fighting between the belligerents in Ethiopia and doesn’t show the Ethiopian army undergoing a drone strike on the TPLF leaders.
The footage was taken from a video published on YouTube allegedly showing Turkish drones targeting enemy forces during the war of Nagorno Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 20202. The video was posted on YouTube on Apr 7, 2021.
False footage of an alleged ongoing fighting
A video was posted on Facebook on Sept 7, 2022, with a claim that there was active fighting between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF on three fronts recently. The post further asserted that the Ethiopian government captured thousands of TPLF troops and seized territories previously taken by TPLF forces. The video includes footage of a military operation.
However, the footage that shows a military operation doesn’t show a fighting scene in Ethiopia. The footage was taken from a video published on YouTube on Jun 15, 2017, and allegedly shows a NATO military drill in Romania.
Therefore, HaqCheck rated the post False due to its usage of inaccurate video.
HaqCheck recommends social media users be skeptical and avoid sharing posts that are not verified. They should look for further information regarding the matter before they share or take in the information on social media.
Social media content creators are the major agents behind false information dissemination across social media platforms. They are urged to be responsible and refrain from disseminating false information.
We recommend the government and other concerned entities give timely updates regarding ongoing issues as one means of reducing mass disinformation. They should also ensure access to information for the media and the wider public.