There was a protest against rape in Tigray region of Ethiopia against several months before the Ethiopian government launched law enforcement operation against Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)
February 14, 2021
Ethiopia’s Minister of Women, Children and Youth, Filsan Abdullahi, this week confirmed about rape cases in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
“We have received the report back from our Taskforce team on the ground in the Tigray region, they have unfortunately established rape has taken place conclusively and without a doubt. #Ethiopia” she tweeted earlier this week.
However, she did not specify the number of victims and/or the circumstanced under the rape took place. Also, it is not clearly specified as to who was behind the sexual assault and rape in Tigray – a region where rape was rampant and prevalent well before the law enforcement operation to the point that there were protests
Regarding the numbers, the Minster said, “As the Taskforce included a team from the Attorney General’s office, which are currently processing the data in terms of numbers, we await the investigation of these horrible crimes and hopefully see when the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Her statement came after the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission released a statement saying that it has confirmed from hospital sources that 108 women were raped since the law enforcement operation was launched. The commission forecasted that the number could be higher on grounds that health facilities and law enforcement structures – to which victims of rape turn to for assistance- were not working in many parts of the region.
Some Ethiopian activists point out that rape is a chronic problem in Tigray region even before the Federal government military operation. Samuel Haileselassie, an activists based in Calgary, Alberta, cited a four years old data from Ethiopia’s central statistic agency to claim that 12 percent of women in the region experience sexual assault in the region including rape.
Reports about rape in the region comes from different groups including international organizations who are given access to the region for humanitarian assistance.
However, none of the reports squarely pointed out the parties that are responsible for the rape committed in the region during law enforcement operation.
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