Facebook has confirmed that it removed a post by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister for inciting violence. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed posted on the social media platform on Sunday, urging citizens to take up arms and “bury” the rival forced allied to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
“The obligation to die for Ethiopia belongs to all of us,” Abiy said in the now-deleted post that called on citizens to mobilize “by holding any weapon or capacity.”
According to a spokesperson from Facebook, which recently rebranded to Meta, the post was removed as soon as they were alerted.
“We were made aware of a post by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and removed this for violating our policies against inciting and supporting violence.” Emily Cain from Meta said.
It was taken down on Tuesday morning.
“At Meta, we remove content from individuals or organizations that violates our Community Standards, no matter who they are.”
Documents leaked from Meta last month showed that Facebook had been warned that armed groups in Ethiopia were using the platform to incite violence against the minorities.
WhistleBlower Frances Haugen told the US Senate that Facebook’s failure to effectively moderate its services outside of the US was “literally fanning ethnic violence”
The conflict in Ethiopia, which erupted in November 2020 has left thousands dead and millions displaced. Hundreds of thousands are also facing starvation due to famine conditions in the country.
The war broke out following a directive by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy ordering a military offensive against regional forces in Tigray, following an attack on a military base that housed government troops.