October 23, 2021

False: The image doesn’t show a recent view of Dessie

HAQCHECKFact checking

The photo was posted before, three years ago, on Jan 11, 2019.

Avatar: Naol Getachew
By Naol Getachew

Naol is a journalist and fact-checker at Addis Zeybe for HaqCheck. He is a professional working in the fields of fact-checking, journalism, online storytelling, and translation.

False: The image doesn’t show a recent view of Dessie

Facebook Account that has more than 119,424 followers published a photo on October 22. The photo’s Amharic description reads “Dessie Now.” In consideration of the identity of the owner of the post and the reaction comments, it is implied in the message that TPLF has controlled the city.

Until this article was published the post had been shared more than 55 times and with 700 reactions. However, the image is found not to be timely as claimed and is rated False.

Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) forces and the Federal Government of Ethiopia have been an inactive war in northern Ethiopia Since November 2020.  

At the end of June 2021, the federal government declared a sudden unilateral ceasefire and pulled out its troops from Tigray after a request from the provisional government of the region.

Reports of fresh military offensives and counter-offensives have come out recently. The Federal government has launched airstrikes repeatedly since the beginning of this week.

Getachew Reda, the spokesperson of the TPLF said residential quarters were targeted by the airstrike. On the other hand, the Government announced that a former military base occupied by TPLF fighters was targeted, and denied the TPLF’s allegation.

In the context of this scenario, it is being reported that the TPLF is still continuing its expansion towards the neighboring Amhara Regional State, and particularly to the  Wollo province. 

Dessie is a metropolitan city located in the South Wollo Zone. It is 400 km from the capital Addis Ababa. It has a population of more than 200,000 people.

Given its political and strategic importance, the City is eyed by the TPLF as a key target through its expansion in Wollo that would give it a significant stronghold.

The original Photo

The Facebook post had been published amid this situation. However, a reverse image search of the picture shows that the photo was posted before, three years ago, on Jan 11, 2019. Even before the war began. Therefore, the post is confirmed to be False.