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Misleading: The news report doesn’t prove that rebels are close to Addis in a 30 km range

Avatar: Naol Getachew
Naol GetachewNovember 26, 2021
HAQCHECK
Misleading: The news report doesn’t prove that rebels are close to Addis in a 30 km range

France 24  published a news report on its official website entitled, “UN to evacuate families from Ethiopia as rebels claim advance on the capital.” The story recounts the report that the “UN has ordered the immediate evacuation of family members of international staff in Ethiopia, as Tigrayan rebels claim to be edging closer to the capital Addis Ababa.” 

In the middle of the story reads a statement, “Some TPLF fighters were believed to have reached Debre Sina, roughly 30 kilometers closer to Addis Ababa, diplomats briefed on the security situation said.”  The town Debre Sina, claimed to be the current whereabouts of the rebels, is used as a reference to show the closeness of the rebels to the capital. And it is stated in the report that Debre Sina is 30 km from Addis to imply how near the rebels are and support the claim. 

France 24 has 14.7% site traffic in the United States, 5.8% in France, and 4.3% in Egypt during the past 30 days according to Alexa. Alexa ranked it 2,262nd in global internet engagement in a 90-day trend. 

The website news report was shared on different social media by a notable number of users. However, the data used to support the narrative is rated as MISLEADING due to its inexact use of distance.

The Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) forces and the Federal Government of Ethiopia have been in an active war in northern Ethiopia Since November 2020.  The war escalated to a more tensioned level recently when the TPLF forces controlled some major cities in the Amhara Regional State. With the intensification of the conflict, a number of embassies based in Addis Ababa urged their citizens in Ethiopia to leave the country due to security concerns.

Amid such a situation PM Abiy Ahmed, announced to lead the army from the front lines on Nov 22. 

HaqCheck checked out the distance between the mentioned town and the capital on Google Maps. Debre Sina is located in the North Shoa zone, Amhara Regional State, 189 km from Addis Ababa, not 30 km away from the capital.

HaqCheck assessed the report and confirmed that the news report doesn’t prove that the rebels are in a 30 km range from the capital and rendered the claim MISLEADING due to its use of a mistaken reference.

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A PIECE BYNaol 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.