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Fact-Checking the BBC’s Report on the Crashed Plane in Northern Ethiopia

Having read the news item published on the BBC’s website entitled “Ethiopia denies military plane shot down by rebels” (https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-africa-47639452) I would like to point out an inconsistency — something that has become all too common with the BBC’s reporting on the situation in Ethiopia. The news item – quoting the rebel group’s claim that it shot down a C-130 type aircraft – mentions that the plane was carrying soldiers wearing Eritrean army uniforms and ammunition (presumably highly explosive) whilst in the next sentence, the BBC’s reporter confirms (or claims) that the plane was “completely decimated”. If a C-130 plane carrying highly explosive ammunition was completely decimated and blown to smithereens so much so that not even an identifiable propeller blade was left, not to mention solid metal parts of the engine and other parts, how can any human remains, let alone their uniforms be found in such a wreckage and then be identified as soldiers wearing Eritrean uniforms? If the extent of the damage and the cargo of the plane was as stated, wouldn’t the passengers too be decimated as well?

What does the BBC mean by, ‘ soldiers wearing Eritrean army uniforms’? Are these soldiers not Eritrean? Or this is this yet another malicious attempt to implicate Eritrea, regardless of the truth on the ground.

Doesn’t the fact that you cannot identify a single part of a large aircraft in the aftermath of the crash but you were able to identify what human remains there maybe  firstly as soldiers, then as soldiers wearing Eritrean army uniforms indicate the utterly false nature of the report by the rebels?

If the BBC has taken the still from the video footage of the plane, why doesn’t it publish the whole video so we can actually see it for ourselves? Even by the notoriously low levels to which the BBC (and its western look-alikes in the mainstream media) have fallen, this is shamefully low and cries out for a shakeup in the BBC’s reporting on the situation. It is understood that the BBC tags the official British government’s line on the conflict but it should at least check the stories it publishes before they are published to avoid stepping into such shameful situations.

While we are on the topic of BBC reporting, a quick glance at the BBC Africa page on their website will show several articles on the conflict in Tigray, the recently concluded elections and other tidbits on Ethiopia. One could even be justified in thinking that the BBC is reporting only about Ethiopia. But despite all that has been reported, the BBC has not once, I repeat, not once, bothered to mention that the elections that took place last Monday in Ethiopia took place without a single incident of violence even though more than 35 million people came out to vote? Or doesn’t that fit the typical African

elections scenario that the western media outlets are quick to point out when violence erupts? The BBC even reported about a “complaint” by a voter that voting had been delayed by a [mere] 45 minutes!!

Come on BBC (and all you other so-called bastions of freedom-of-speech and democracy, blah blah, blah), if not for anything else, nobless oblige should prompt you to commend the government and people of Ethiopia for a peaceful election whatever the outcome, instead of repeating and regurgitating lie after lie fed to you by the defunct TPLF (now calling itself TDF) and in most cases, even generated by the pro-TPLF staff members and reporters that are working on the BBC Africa desk.

While it might not be evident to the upper echelons of the BBC at the moment, the BBC has lost all credibility both in the region and the continent as a whole over its heavily biased and utterly shoddy reporting on Ethiopia and the region as a whole.

The truth shall always prevail.

Berhanu Abera

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