November 12, 2021

No: The Images do not show that OLF overtaken Shoa

HAQCHECKFact checking

Nonetheless, the image does not support the claim.

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.

No: The Images do not show that OLF overtaken Shoa

A Facebook page, on Nov 11, 2021, posted images in support of its claim that reads, “The Oromo Liberation Army has overtaken the Shoa region in Addis. They are waiting for the troops coming from the north side.”. The post is published in the Somali language by the page having more than 423,000 followers. 

The post was viral and received more than 2.4 likes and was shared more than 451 times by the time this article was published. HaqCheck has examined the images and rated the post as FALSE. 

The Ethiopian federal government designated the Oromo Liberation Army (aka OLF Shene) and Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) as a terrorist group on May 1, 2021. The two groups announced their alliance on August 11, 2021. After the war erupted last November in Tigray, spreading to the neighboring regions of Afar and Amhara, TPLF started marching to different cities and towns including North and South Wollo . On November 1 OLA said it had seized the town of Kemissie, 335 km from Addis Ababa. Foreign media outlets reported that the anti-government armed forces continued their march to reach the capital. 

It was in this context that the Facebook claim appeared.

However, a reverse image search of the first Picture shows that the picture was posted for the first time by a Facebook page on September 28, 2020, with two other images. The caption of this post written in Afaan Oromo implies that the pictures were taken in Jimma city, even before the current war broke out. Even Though we can’t find the second image, a close examination of similar elements and details (a soldier’s beanie, a necklace artifact, a white mark of the asphalt road, and the darkness in both images) reveals that it was shot at the time the first image was taken.

The Original 

The Second Image

Therefore, HaqCheck confirmed that the images do not show  Oromo Liberation Army has overtaken the Shoa in Addis and rendered the post as FALSE.