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False: Image doesn’t show soldiers recruited from the Oromia regional forces to join OLA

Avatar: Kirubel Tesfaye
Kirubel TesfayeDecember 3, 2021
HAQCHECK
False: Image doesn’t show soldiers recruited from the Oromia regional forces to join OLA

Facebook page with more than 436 thousand followers posted an image on Dec 2, 2021, captioned, “1,287 soldiers were recruited from the Oromia regional forces to Join Oromo Liberation Army.” By the time this article was published, the post had more than 1000 reactions and was shared more than 300 times.

However, HaqCheck inspected the image and rendered it as FALSE.

Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) was a military wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) which is claimed to split later on May 1, 2021. OLA, addressed by the Ethiopian Government as “Shane”, is designated as ‘Terrorist by the parliament. OLA is alleged to target civilians with human rights violations and gruel atrocities, especially in the East Wollega zone of the Oromia Regional State. 

In August OLA announced its alliance with the Tigray Liberation Front (TPLF), which has been fighting the Ethiopian government since Nov 2020. 

The current regional president of Oromia Regional State, Shimels Abdisa said, “Oromia government has started organizing the security forces in a new form to ensure the peace and security of people in the region.”

On Nov 15, 2021, the Oromia Regional State declared a curfew amid the state of emergency imposed by the Federal Government. To facilitate the ground for the security forces to monitor and control activities in the regional zones, woredas, and kebeles.

As the engagement between OLA and the regional forces continued, there are different claims that some members of Oromia Special Forces defected to join OLA. 

OLA spokesman Odda Tarbii said in his tweet from Nov 4,  “Today, 1,165 Oromia Special Forces defected to the OLA. 400 of them joined OLA forces in the vicinity of Laga Tafo. Our forces continue pushing on from all directions, we are very close to seeing the end of this oppressive dictatorship.” 

It was such a framework of the current situation the Facebook post appeared.

A similar image was posted on a Twitter account on Mar 8, 2020, with a caption that reads, “Abiy Ahmed won't be saved even by 20 million neftegnas & gobenas.” 

Moreover, it is evident that a picture is captured from a cadet graduation video of the Oromia regional state special forces 30th round graduation.

Even though there are several claims that some members of Oromia Special Forces joined OLA, the image doesn’t show the soldiers recruited from the Special Forces to join OLA. Therefore HaqCheck analyzed the Facebook post and rendered it FALSE

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A PIECE BYKirubel Tesfaye

Kirubel works as a fact-checker at Addis Zeybe for HaqCheck. He is interested in learning and expanding his writing and journalistic skills.