ADDIS ABABA (Somaliguardian) – UN raised concern over increasing reports of mass rape in the restive northern Ethiopian region of Tigray, months after Ethiopia’s military backed by Eritrean forces and Amhara militias took control of the region.
Several victims who have spoken to media recall harrowing abuses committed against them by the allied forces as war raged in Tigray region.
A young coffee seller said she was split from family and friends by an Ethiopian soldier at the Tekeze River, taken down a path and given a harrowing choice.
“He said: ‘Choose, either I kill you or rape you’,” the 25 year-old told Reuters News Agency at Hamdayet refugee camp in Sudan where she had fled from conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
In a separate interview with Reuters, the doctor who treated her when she arrived at the camp in December, Tewadrous Tefara Lima, confirmed that he provided pills to stop pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases and guided her to a psychotherapist.
Several aid workers for international and Ethiopian aid groups earlier said they had received multiple similar reports of abuse in Tigray.
UN official noted “there are disturbing reports of individuals allegedly forced to rape members of their own family under threats of imminent violence. Some women have also been forced by military men to have sex in exchange for basic commodities.”
The government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has not immediately commented on increasing reports of mass rape in Tigray and Ethiopian authorities have previously denied rights abuses.
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