Ethiopia: Tigris rebels rape and beat women in Amhara province, Amnesty International denounces

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Fighters from Tigray raped, beat and abducted several women in August in Amhara province, where fighting between rebels and government forces in northern Ethiopia has escalated in recent months, according to an Amnesty International investigation.

The NGO gathered testimonies from 16 women who complained of being abused by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray (TPLF) as they passed through the town of Nifas Meoutsa in Amhara from 12 August to 21 August.

The women realized that they were Tiger fighters because of their accent and the fact that they insulted the members of the Amhara tribe. Some even stated that they are members of the TPLF.

“Three of them raped me while my children were crying (…) (The guerrillas) did what they wanted and left. They physically attacked me (…) They slapped me, kicked me. They targeted me with their weapons as if they wanted to kill me shoot, “said one woman.

Another, Hamelmal, was reportedly raped by four TPLF fighters. “The one who raped me first was their superior. He said: ‘The Amharas are donkeys, the Ahmaras slaughtered our people, the federal security forces raped my wife, now we can rape you as we wish.'”

Another woman complained that the men, after raping her, beat her with the handles of their weapons and “I remained unconscious for more than an hour”.

“Shameful acts”

Many women reported that those who attacked them later stole food, jewelry, telephones or even money.

Amnesty International also interviewed the director of Nifa Meoutsa Hospital and local and regional officials who were aware of the events.

Amhara provincial authorities said 71 women were raped during this period. The Ethiopian Ministry of Justice spoke of 73.

“These shameful acts” recorded by the NGO “are war crimes and possible crimes against humanity,” said Amnesty International Secretary-General Anies Kalamar.

The conflict in Tigray started in November 2020 and flared up again in June this year.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, had declared the federal army victory over the rebels a few weeks after the start of operations in Tigray, aimed at overthrowing local authorities close to the TPLF.

But in June, rebels recaptured most of the province, forcing government forces to withdraw. In fact, they continued their advance towards the neighboring provinces of Amhara and Afar.

Source: AMPE

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Source From: Capital

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