A report from Amnesty International says women and girls in Tigray were targeted for rape and other sexual violence by forces aligned to the Ethiopian government.
“Between March and June 2021, Amnesty International interviewed 63 survivors of rape and other sexual violence; 15 in-person in Sudan, and 48 remotely on secure telephone lines. Amnesty International also interviewed medical professionals and humanitarian workers involved in treating or assisting survivors in the towns of Shire and Adigrat, and in refugee camps in Sudan, about the scale of sexual violence and for corroborating information on specific cases,” the report said.
Soldiers and militia subjected Tigrayan women and girls to rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation, and other forms of torture, often using ethnic slurs and death threats.
According to the report, different forces carried out the physical assaults “ women and girls were subjected to sexual violence by members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the Eritrean Defense Force (EDF), the Amhara Regional Police Special Force (ASF), and Fano, an Amhara militia group.”
Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary-General said “It’s clear that rape and sexual violence have been used as a weapon of war to inflict lasting physical and psychological damage on women and girls in Tigray. Hundreds have been subjected to brutal treatment aimed at degrading and dehumanizing them”.
A UN investigation into abuses in Tigray is due to be completed this month. The UN’s human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has said that the findings will be made public.
Previous reports accused, both, the Ethiopian forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front TPLF of atrocities during the 9-month conflict.
The Ethiopian government this week accused Tigrayan forces of killing more than 200 people, including more than 100 children, in the Afar region.
Tigrayan forces were also accused of massacring people in Mai-Kadra at the start of the conflict last November.
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