A Facebook page with more than 21,000 followers posted an image on Mar 04, 2022, claiming that a drone strike took place in the town of Shire around 11:20 am during secret peace talks. The post was shared as breaking news. By the time this article was published, the post had more than 1,250 reactions and was shared more than 85 times.
However, HaqCheck looked into the image and rated it as FALSE.
The war between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People Liberation Front(TPLF) has been ongoing for more than a year now. After staying in control of Mekelle for seven months, the Federal Government declared a unilateral ceasefire and pulled out its troops from most parts of Tigray at the end of June 2021.
The TPLF forces had been advancing southward to territories in the Amhara and the Afar Regional States. At the end of November, the Ethiopian military began a counteroffensive led by PM Abiy Ahmed from the frontlines that pushed the Tigrayan forces back. The federal government announced that its army will not advance deeper into Tigray and will stay on the borders of the Afar and Amhara regions.
In the middle of this accusation, the Chairman of the TPLF said on Jan 29, that there are encouraging signs in the peace negotiations to end the war with the federal government. He indicated that indirect diplomatic talks were taking place by the African Union, the United Nations, and Kenya.
On the other hand on the 3rd extra-ordinary session of the HoPRs on Feb 22, The PM assured his government hadn’t been involved in any form of negotiation with the TPLF. Yet, he said; “this doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be any negotiation provided that any benefit could be gained for the nation through it.”
published in this context. the Facebook post tries to provide graphical support to its claim by collaging two images to supposedly show a drone strike that took place in the town of Shire.
However, HaqCheck can realize through its inspection that the images were taken from old publications. The image of the rising smoke is found to be taken from a post on Oct 20, 2021of a Twitter account that claims an airstrike is conducted in Mekelle and the drone image from a website called ARMY TECHNOLOGY in an article about Bayraktar TB2 Tactical UAV on 6 January 2021.
Therefore HaqCheck rated the image used to support the claim as FALSE.