Report Reveals 2,212 Sex and Gender-based Violence in Afar, Amhara States

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Addis Ababa September 21/2022 /ENA/ Some 2,212 women, girls, boys, and men were subjected to sex and gender-based violence (SGBV), including gang rape, when the Tigray People’s Liberation Front took over parts of the Amhara and Afar regions, a report of the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Accountability and Redress Investigation and Prosecutions Committee revealed.

According to the report, the committee proved that TPLF forces perpetrated the overwhelming majority of the SGBVs through direct interviews conducted with many survivors and substantiated via documentary evidence obtained from health facilities, rehabilitation centers, regional women’s sector bureaus, and prosecutors’ criminal investigation files.

In the Amhara Regional State alone, some 2192 gruesome sexual attacks have been committed, the report indicated.

The overwhelming majority of the SGBVs crimes were perpetrated by the terrorist group TPLF,  the report of the committee noted.

While, Shene (the self-styled OLA) fighters committed a few cases of gang-rape in the Oromo Nationality Zone of the Amhara National Regional State, it added.

It further stated that out of the 2192 gruesome sexual attacks, 706 were  in the North Wollo Zone, 644 in South Wollo Zone and 290 in Dessie City.    

Kombolcha City, North Gondar Zone and Kemise Town have also witnessed sexual assaults by the TPLF fighters it was learned.

In Afar Regional State too, some 20 sex and gender based violence were committed by the TPLF forces, according to the report.

The data gathered by the Committee demonstrated that the gruesome incidences of gang-rape and rape included intentional communication of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), including HIV-AIDS.

The Inter-Ministerial Taskforce on Accountability and Redress Investigation and Prosecutions Committee interviewed 186 survivors and received credible testimony that TPLF fighters brutally raped persons in different towns and woredas of the North Shewa Zone.

Of this, 65 survivors received post-rape medical and psychological support at Debre Berhan Hospital; the IPC was able to gather documentary and medical evidence from the Hospital.

Two of the 186 survivors died because of the rape, 1 girl lost her sanity; 89 of them were subjected to gang rape.

The Committee also interviewed a woman survivor who was gang raped by 3 TPLF fighters after back-tying her two hands. She was 6 months pregnant when the violent incident occurred.

The survivor experienced abortion and grievous physical and emotional trauma. The Committee affirmed that the person who was an accomplice in this grave offense was detained and is under investigation in Shewa Robit.

The report also documented 706 cases of rape in the North Wollo Zone only, and corroborated the occurrence of the incidences through 111 additional witness testimonies.

Many women were raped or gang raped in front of their family members, According to the report.

Based on evidences gathered by interviewing 37 eyewitnesses and victims, at least 37 girls and women were raped across different woredas of the Oromo Nationality Zone. Seven survivors were subjected to brutalized gang rape, it was noted.

The rape cases in this zone were all committed by TPLF and Shene. They were frequently accompanied by dehumanizing ethnic slurs, the report disclosed.

In addition, the Committee gathered evidences and identified 20 survivors of rape in different woredas of the Afar region. The evidences demonstrated that a greater part of the rape committed by the TPLF in the Afar region was gang rape.

In Yalo Woreda, for example, one elderly mother was raped by 5 TPLF fighters. The list of survivors includes a 70-year-old woman.

The report concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the incidences amounted to serious violations and abuses of international human rights, international humanitarian law and national laws.

Since the cases demonstrate that they were intentionally directed against civilians who had not taken any part in the hostilities and conflict, there are reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes were committed, the report stated.  

The acts were willful and had caused great suffering and serious injury to the bodies or health of the victims.