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Misinformation, propaganda carry the day in Tigrayan, Oromo conflicts

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Nat Castaneda/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Tigray Region

Misinformation and propaganda have played a bigger part in the Tigray war given the inconsistent numbers that have been peddled in the recent months on the number of dead victims.

Information verifications have been hampered and bodies like the United Nations have consistently complained of access to these regions.

Both internet and other communication lines have been disrupted and in many cases, propaganda has always carried the day.

Tigrayan Desta Haileselassie has lived with the dead for a year.

After war erupted in November 2020 in Ethiopia's Tigray region, Desta began compiling a list of Tigrayan victims.

He works day and night from his apartment in Stockholm, Sweden.

Desta says he has confirmed and listed more than 3,000 names of the dead.

"We don't document everything we get from Facebook and Twitter unless I'm 100% sure," Desta said.

"We don't document everything we get from Facebook and Twitter unless I'm 100% sure. So we have now, 3,073 victims but we have around 1,000 victims who have yet to be, that is not yet verified," he said.

The waging sides have in many cases blamed one another on propaganda peddling with sometimes conflicting statements being issued on given scenarios.

For instance, both the Tigray and the Ethiopian forces have always claimed victory in Mekele in recent months. Statements that can never be substantiated.

Since Nov. 4, 2020, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF.