A Facebook page with more than 6,000 followers posted an image on July 21 showing a group of people wearing a military uniform. The Amharic caption reads “Juntas” captured by Afar Special Forces. The post had been shared more than 90 times by the time this article was published.
HaqCheck looked into the post and declared the post False due to the usage of inaccurate images to support the claim.
On November 4, 2020, armed fighting started between TPLF-led regional and Federal government-led forces in Tigray. In the ensuing conflict, the federal army has controlled major areas in Tigray, but there have been reports of armed battles and guerilla attacks in the region. The Federal government captured and killed TPLF senior military and civil officials.
Late last month the Ethiopian government, following a request from the Tigray Interim Administration, declared a sudden unilateral ceasefire for “humanitarian purposes” and immediately withdrew its forces from the mainlands of the regional state.
After federal forces left the region, the TPLF-forces rebranded themselves as Tigray Defense Forces (TDF), taking control of urban centers of the regional state.
The TPLF-forces have been advancing southwards and southeast, moving out of the heartlands of Tigray. Recently armed clashes have been reported in border areas adjacent to Tigray, such as Amhara and Afar regional states.
The Facebook post was circulating amid this situation.
However, a reverse image search of the picture shows that the image was taken at a different time and is not actually related to the current situation around the Afar region. HaqCheck found out the image is cropped and the former image can be found in another Facebook post from November 07, 2020. As well as the people in military uniforms on the ground, the full image HaqCheck sourced shows two men wearing the ENDF uniform standing in the middle.
Despite the reports of fresh armed conflict in the areas that border the Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regions, HaqCheck confirmed that the images do not show TPLF soldiers captured by the Afar special forces. Therefore we have labeled the post-FALSE due to the usage of inaccurate images to support the claim.