Were These Photos Taken in Shirkole, Somalia?

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This tweet shared by a Somalia news site claims to show photos of members of the Somali Federal Parliament in Shirkole, Somalia. In these photos, police in uniform and military vehicles can be spotted.


On April 12, 2021, the Lower House of Parliament in Somalia voted to extend president Abdullahi Farmaajo’s term by two years. This move was contested by the opposition as it was termed as being unconstitutional.

General Sadiq Omar Hassan alias Sadaq John, Mogadishu’s regional police commander was fired for ordering police officers to block parliamentary proceedings. He later moved to his residence in Shirkole which is guarded by armed men.

He later moved to his residence in Shirkole which is guarded by armed men.


We ran a reverse image search on all of these photos. Counting clockwise, results from the first photo led to a Facebook post dated April 16, 2021.

This same photo was posted on April 26, 2021, by Mudug24. From this, the Somalia government had deployed troops to track movement in and out of Shirkole. Parliamentarians who had gone to General Sadaq John’s residence called out the government for trying to attack him and said that they had gone to visit him where he is based.

A second reverse image search done on the second photo led to this Facebook post from October 14, 2020. On the same date, this tweet featured the same photo, with two other additional photos. The same photo was again posted on the same day by this site. This was during General Odowa’s visit to Beled-hawo. He was accompanied by the commander of the 17th Battalion of the Gorgor Commando Forces, Major Dayax, the Commander of the 43rd Division, 10th Battalion of Gedo region and other officials.

This came during a time when fights had broken between Somalia forces at the Kenyan and Somalia border. Kenyan troops were accused of siding with rebels during this fight. However, Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed these allegations.

The third photo was featured on this Facebook post from April 16, 2021. This post also had the second and fourth photos featured. Another post featured this same photo on the same date. The first and second photo can also be identified in a collection of images shared in this post.

Finally, a reverse image search on the fourth photo led to this post dated April 16, 2021. Here, the first and third photos are also featured.

To break all these down, three out of the four images shared were taken in Shirkole. One which is the second one was taken in Beled-hawo on October 14, 2020.


It is TRUE these photos were taken in Shirkole, Somalia. However, one image which is part of the four shared is misleading.



This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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Nyakerario Omari

Nyakerario J. Omari is a Kenyan writer and journalist with a passion for in-depth stories told through documentaries. She has an interest in reporting matters concerning health, crime and human rights.