Twitter and other social media banned the former president from their platforms ( AFP / Olivier DOULIERY)

Trump did not tweet to congratulate Ethiopian PM on his re-election

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

A screenshot has resurfaced on Facebook in Ethiopia with claims that it shows a tweet from former US president Donald Trump congratulating  Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed a day after his re-election inauguration on October 4, 2021. AFP Fact Check found that the alleged tweet is an old hoax that has circulated previously on social media. Furthermore, this recent post was shared 10 months after Trump was banned from Twitter, and there are no records of him ever publishing such a tweet. 

The screenshot has been shared 300 times since it was published on Facebook on October 5, 2021, a day after Abiy’s inauguration for his second term.

“A wonderful congratulations to Dr. Abiy Ahmed and his brave leadership in Ethiopia”, it reads. 

Screenshot of the false tweet shared on Facebook, taken on October 18, 2021

 

Abiy was sworn in on October 4, 2021, for a new five-year term, as his government faces several challenges including a nearly year-long conflict in the northern region of Tigray.

The Facebook post was shared a day after Abiy’s inauguration, suggesting the tweet was sent to congratulate Abiy on his new term. 

However, this is false. 

Old hoax

The same screenshot was widely shared on Facebook first in June 2018 and in October 2019 -- after the Ethiopian leader won the Nobel Peace Prize and then after he collected the prize in Oslo in December 2019. AFP Fact Check debunked the claims here

The purported tweet does not appear in The Trump Archives, a tool that saves all tweets from Trump's account -- even those that were deleted. 

The ex-president has tweeted about Abiy in the past but he has never congratulated him on any of his achievements. 

Between April 2019 and April 2020, Trump tweeted about Ethiopia or Abiy five times. None of his tweets were congratulatory messages.

Screenshot of search results from the Trump Twitter Archive, taken on October 18, 2021

Furthermore, Twitter banned Trump’s Twitter account in January 2021 for inciting violence. The platform announced that it permanently suspended the account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” on January 8, 2021.

Original tweet

An advanced search on Twitter using keywords from the purported tweet reveals a first post from an account called Habesha Networks. The tweet was published on June 21, 2018, three months after Abiy was first appointed as prime minister.