December 15, 2020

Is the soldier drinking in the bar during the current conflict in Tigray?

HAQCHECKFact checking


Avatar: Hagos Gebreamlak
By Hagos Gebreamlak

A fact-checker at HaqCheck, he has worked for Fortune as a reporter previously.

Is the soldier drinking in the bar during the current conflict in Tigray?


On December 9, 2020 a facebook post was made by the account Dawit Enticho (with 5000 friends and 541 followers) sharing the picture below of a soldier drinking beverage in a bar with the claim that the person was the Prosperity Party’s (Ethiopian National Defence Force) soldier active in the operation currently. The text - which is written in Amharic- reads “this PP (Prosperity Party) soldier is enforcing law.” However, Haqcheck confirmed that the picture below doesn’t show that the soldier drinking is not in Tigray, rendering the verdict FALSE for the claim by the facebook page.

Granted, there is a conflict currently ongoing in the Tigray region between the Federal government and the TPLF led Tigray special police and militia since 4 November 2020. After nearly three weeks of fighting in the region, it was confirmed that the ENDF led Federal forces had assumed control of major cities in Tigray including Mekele, Shire, Adigrat, Axum and others. The Chairperson of the TPLF Debretsion Gebremichael (PHD) and the Spokesperson of the TPLF Getachew Reda have also admitted that the TPLF leadership and special police had withdrawn from Mekele in order to mitigate the damage to the city. The Federal Police of Ethiopia and the ENDF also entered the city on 2 December 2020 consisting of a Special Commando and Criminal Investigation unit. Therefore, it is true that members of the ENDF and the Federal police are currently on duty in different cities of the Tigray Regional State. 

Image 1: Doctored Image 

Image 2: Original Image (Frank M. Gashumba)

However, a reverse image search of the image that was posted by the facebook account indicates that the picture is not of the ongoing military operation in Tigray. The picture was published for the first time on Facebook by the name Frank M. Gashumba, a Ugandan activist and blogger on November 20, 2020. At the time, Frank M. Gashumba had posted the image with a text that reads “Enforcing Covid-19" SOP's [standard operating procedure].” The post can be accessed using the following link

HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the picture does not show that a soldier drinking in a bar is not in Tigray neither is the soldier embezzling people’s property in Tigray. Therefore, HaqCheck has rated the above post as FALSE for posting inaccurate information to support the claim. 

Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak

Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame

The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking running in five languages (Affan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English)

Editor's Note: 

The following article was published as part of Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking initiative. As the reconstruction of our website continues, Addis Zeybe would like its readers to note that it will be publishing fact checking articles on a permanent basis in five languages (Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Somali, Tigrinya and English. Addis Zeybe will also be publishing monthly pandemic impact assessment and human rights reports in the coming months.