January 24, 2021
Following a status update from activist Seyoum Teshome, a rumour was circulating on social media that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is shot and in critical condition.
The status from Seyoum indicated that the Prime Minister was flown overseas after he was shot.
The office of the prime minister issued a brief update which was released on facebook.
“We ask members of the public to be vigilant about fake news circulating about Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s well being on social media.”
PM Abiy Ahmed was not seen by the public for several days. When the British foreign Affairs Minister visited the country on Friday, he did not meet with Abiy Ahmed.
There is a mixed reaction to the rumour on social media. Some express real concern for his safety. Others tend to see a sinister motive with the aim to gauge public reaction to the rumour.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is normally active on social media ; he regularly shares an update to his fans. Not today. And that in itself is a matter of concern for his fans.
There are also those who express anger to the activist for publishing the rumour (Seyoum Teshome) on social media. For those groups, even if it happens such news needs to be handled with care for they constitute security vulnerability to the country.
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