There was a Facebook post made on 7 April 2021 by a Facebook page named Ogaadenia Media (a page with more than 61,000 followers). The pictures posted showed a BattleTank and a soldier who held a Sudanese flag in his hand. The text written in Somali reads "BREAKING NEWS, There is a heavy war between Sudan and Ethiopia… Sudanese forces attacked the Ethiopian army sitting in the 'mersh' area on the border of East Sudan and Ethiopia… The war is taking place in the North East of Umm-Rakuba, Sudanese army said they took over several areas... Sudan has said that their army has fully taken over '12 KM', they claimed that they attacked the Ethiopian military base and killed many Ethiopian soldiers. The Ethiopian government has not said anything about the war. Share this for your friends...’’. The post also mentioned ‘Sudan Tribune' and ‘Sudan News’ as its source. HaqCheck has interrogated the post and concluded the post is FALSE due to the inaccuracy of the images to support the claim.
There have been armed clashes around the Ethio-Sudanese border since November 2020. The Sudanese Armed Forces stated that they reclaimed territory in the Salam Bir and Mahaj areas in El Gedaref from the Ethiopian army and armed militias. On 31 December 2020, Omar Qamareddine, Sudanese foreign minister, declared restoration and full control over all territories along the Ethio-Sudanese border taken over by Ethiopian farmers. The countries have been in talks and negotiations to settle the issue and demarcate the boundary despite being in vain. Recently, Sudan has accepted an offer by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to mediate with Ethiopia over the contested territories.
On the other hand, The talk that was held in Kinshasa between Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia over the Renaissance dam ended on 5 March 2021, with no progress made. Days after the talk, Sudan has reportedly asked the United Nations to withdraw Ethiopian troops from Abyei.
In this context, the image was shared where several claims were made; that a fierce battle had broken out between Sudanese and Ethiopian forces this morning Hours ago, that the Sudanese army attacked an Ethiopian military base near Mersh on the Ethiopian border seizing large swathes of territory from Ethiopian forces and killing scores of soldiers. However, a reverse image search of the Facebook post’s picture doesn't prove the claim. The first image was posted by a Facebook page named Sudanese Military Establishment on 12 March 2017. The post mainly talks about the story of the Tank and its use. The second picture can be found along with other pictures on a Facebook page named sudanese.armed.forces and it was posted on January 17, 2021. The post talks about sovereignty and victory.
The Sources that the Facebook post mentioned also don’t have any news related to the issue.
It is evident that there have been armed conflicts along with the Ethio-Sudanese border areas, between Ethiopian and Sudanese forces. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the claim and confirmed that the images don't show the Sudanese forces that destroyed an Ethiopian military base killing Ethiopian soldiers. Therefore, it has rendered the post FALSE due to the usage of an inaccurate image to support the claim.
Fact checked by: Endalkachew Teka
Edited by: Rehobot Ayalew
This article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact-checking initiative, run by its R&D Department.