Is This Image Related to the Tigray Genocide?

An image making rounds on Facebook claims to illustrate the impact of a massacre in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

The Facebook post that has been reshared several times since February 20, 2021 contains an image showing numerous dead bodies covered by white sheets while surrounded by a crowd of mourners. Text on the post says “Aksum Massacre”, and uses the hashtag #TigrayGenocide.

Background

The Hashtag #TigrayGenocide has been trending since November 2020 when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared war after the federal government’s military base in Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, was attacked.

Civilians have been caught up in the crossfire as the government alleged that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is responsible for the attack, and the prime minister ordered the Ethiopian National Defence Forces to attack the Tigray Special Forces in retaliation. Hundreds are said to be dead while over 50,000 refugees fled Ethiopia to neighbouring Sudan according to a UN report.

Verification

A Google image reverse search reveals that the image circulating on Facebook is not related to the Tigray genocide. The image featured in an article published on the AP news website reporting the death of farmers and fishermen who were in November 2020 attacked by the Boko Haram militia at a rice field in Garin Kwashebe, Borno State, Nigeria.

A screenshot from the AP News report

 

A press statement by the UN Alliance of Civilizations however confirms that worshippers and civilians were attacked at the Church of St. Mary of Zion in the holy city of Axum in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

Verdict

Posts claiming that the image showing dead bodies is from the Tigray massacre are FALSE.

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