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False: The video footage doesn’t show drone airstrikes in Wollo

Avatar: Kirubel Tesfaye
Kirubel TesfayeNovember 18, 2021
HAQCHECK
False: The video footage doesn’t show  drone airstrikes in Wollo

YouTube channel, named Tigray Television, with more than 274 thousand subscribers has posted a news video captioned, “today on Wollo district the fascist leader Abiy Ahmed conducted an airstrike using drones. And civilians are injured by the attack.” on Nov 9, 2021. By the time this article was published the YouTube video had more than 73 thousand views, with more than 1600 reactions.

However, HaqCheck analyzed one of the video footage used in the news report 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 Government of the region.

Thereafter, the TPLF forces had been advancing southward territories in the Amhara and the Afar Regional States. Reports of fresh military offensives and counter-offensives have come out recently. They have also took control of  Dessie and Kombolcha cities in the  Amhara Regional State.

Amid the skirmishes between the belligerents, the Ethiopian Air Force has undertaken several aerial attacks allegedly targeting TPLF forces and their military facilities since Oct 18.  

In the context of this situation, the TPLF-affiliated regional media Tigray Television came up with a report that the Ethiopian Government bombarded Wollo targeting civilians.

The video released by Tigray Television used footage featured in a report by OMN (Oromia Media Network television) in support of the news that the Federal Government used drones and bombing in Wollo.

HaqCheck has traced back the video used by OMN. The news report stated that “Wollo is bombed by Prosperity Party (Federal Government) drones and heavy artilleries which targeted civilians”. Fatima Nurye, an invited guest speaker in the report,  told OMN that, “a religious and cultural place for both Christians and Muslims called Tursina is bombed by the Ethiopian Air Force.”     

HaqCheck interrogated the video by using a screenshot from the footage and found out that the video was released on Nov 6, 2021, on the official AFP News Agency YouTube channel showing a massive explosion of a petroleum station in Freetown Sierra Leone. During the incident, at least 92 people were dead. According to witnesses, the accident happened when a vehicle in a car accident caught fire. The flames then spread, burning people in cars and on roads nearby. 

Even Though there is a continuous military engagement between the Federal Government and the TPLF in the Amhara Regional State, the video footage used by Tigray Television's report in support of the claim doesn’t actually show drone airstrikes by the Ethiopian forces. Therefore HaqCheck rendered the claim 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.