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Do the images show the Addis Ababa-Bahir Dar road blocked by the Oromo Liberation Army?

Avatar: Hagos Gebreamlak
Hagos GebreamlakAugust 13, 2021
HAQCHECKFact checking
Do the images show the Addis Ababa-Bahir Dar road blocked by the Oromo Liberation Army?

A Facebook post accompanied by six images with text that claims the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) blocked the Addis Ababa-Bahir Dar asphalt road went viral on social media. The post, which emerged on August 13, 2021, states that the OLA, headed by Kumsa Diriba - aka Jaal Marroo, has been warning this since last week.

HaqCheck has assessed the images and the post and established that the pictures do not support the claim. Therefore, HaqCheck has rated the post as FALSE due to the usage of inaccurate images.

The asphalt road that connects Addis Ababa with the Amhara region’s capital, Bahir Dar, was blocked as of August 13, 2021, due to a landslide. The road is blocked by rubble that fell from rocky and mountainous cliffs along the route. As a result, road transport between the cities is impossible as reported by different media outlets including FBC, EBC, and Ethiopian Press Agency.

Recently the TPLF-forces and OLA, both designated by the House of Peoples’ Representatives as terrorist organizations, announced that they have formed an alliance to topple the current government. The OLA was the armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front, while TPLF has been engaged in an armed conflict with the federal army since November last year. 

The social media post emerged a day after the alliance between the two rebel groups was announced. The post claims that the road was blocked due to a military operation executed by OLF on the night of August 12, 2021. 

However, the images used to support the claim had first appeared in reports from different media outlets, that a landslide had blocked the road from Addis Ababa to Gojam.

HaqCheck has therefore rated the post as FALSE due to inaccurate usage of the images.

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A PIECE BYHagos Gebreamlak

Hagos has a BA degree in Political Science and International Relations from Addis Ababa University. He worked for Addis Fortune (Independent News & Media Plc) as a reporter. Hagos is currently working as a fact-checker at Addis Zeybe.