On 10 January 2020 a facebook post by the name World Page (a facebook page with 39,253 followers) shared the image below with the claim that the donkey in the minivan was looted by Eritreans from Tigray. The post came out amid the ongoing military operation and following instability in Tigray and it points to a license plate [Eritrean] of the minivan in an effort to show the donkey was stolen by Eritreans. The post became viral on facebook and at the time this article was written around 45 users had shared it. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the image doesn't show a donkey looted by Eritreans from Tigray and rated it as ALTERED.
Since 4 November 2020 there have been armed fighting between TPLF-led regional forces and Federal government-led forces in Tigray. The federal government also recently announced that it was rapidly capturing senior civil and military officers of the TPLF. Amid the military operation and instabilities there have been allegations and unproven reports that Eritrean troops have been involved in the war supporting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration. Additionally , many claim that Eritrean soldiers are looting in Tigray amid the war.
In this context the facebook post emerged claiming the donkey was robbed by Eritreans from Tigray. However, a google reverse image search of the picture doesn't prove the claim. The image was first published on Reddit, an American internet-based image and video sharing platform and social media aggregation with a text “This donkey getting a ride home in a minivan” on 24 August 2019. The original post related to the image can be accessed with the following link.
Granted, there have been allegations and unproven claims of Eritrean army involvement in the war and lootings amid the conflict in Tigray at the time the facebook post was shared. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the image doesn't show a donkey looted by Eritreans from Tigray and being taken to Eritrea in a minivan, therefore, rated as ALTERED due to inaccurate usage of the image.
Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak
Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame
The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking initiative, which is run by its R&D Department.