A Telegram channel with more than a thousand subscribers shared an image on Jan 31, 2022, captioned, “weapons captured by Afar militia at Berhale front.” By the time this article was published the post had 12,000 views and was shared with other Telegram groups having more than 46 thousand subscribers.
However, HaqCheck inspected the image and rendered it False.
Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) forces and the Federal Government of Ethiopia have been in an active 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 Interim Government of the region. Thereafter, TPLF forces advanced southward to territories in the Amhara and the Afar Regions.
Until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed officially announced to join the army at the battlefront, TPLF was nearing the town of Debre Sina which is 183km away from the capital.
After the federal government and regional forces launched a counteroffensive against TPLF, the Tigrayan forces started to retreat back to Tigray. Thereafter, the federal government announced that its armies will not advance deeper into Tigray and will stay on the borders of the Afar and Amhara regions. However, TPLF continued accusing the Amhara and Afar militias of attacking Tigray.
On Jan 24 Afar Regional State Communication Affairs Office notified on its Facebook page that The TPLF had intensified its offensive in Ab'ala and Magale woredas of the Kilbati Rasu zone in the Afar region to compensate for its heavy defeat in the Afar region.
The Telegram post appeared in the middle of this contextual situation.
HaqCheck used a Google reverse image search to prove the post’s claim. It is learned that the image was first posted on a website called (ጎልጉል)Goolgule, An internet newspaper, on Sep 05, 2021, in an article titled, “Illegal weapons confiscated in the month of August.”
Even though there are several claims that there is a clash at the border of the Afar region, the image doesn’t show weapons captured by the Afar militia at the Berhale front.
HaqCheck looked into the image that is used to support the claim and rendered it False.