Rape survivors describe slavery, mutilation in Tigray

Ethiopian and Eritrean troops have raped hundreds of women and girls during the Tigray war, subjecting some to sexual slavery and mutilation, Amnesty International said in a report Wednesday.

Drawing from interviews with 63 survivors, the report sheds new light on a scourge already being investigated by Ethiopian law enforcement officials, with at least three soldiers convicted and 25 others charged.

Some survivors said they had been gang-raped while held captive for weeks on end. Others described being raped in front of their family members.

‘Like I wasn’t a person’: Ethiopian forces accused of systematic rape in Tigray

Ethiopian government forces have been systematically raping and abusing hundreds of women and girls in the current conflict in Tigray, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

Adding to a growing body of evidence that rape is being used as a weapon of war in the northern region of Ethiopia, Amnesty’s research offers a snapshot of the extent of the crimes in an area where communications with the outside world have been deliberately restricted by federal authorities.

Amnesty: Rape survivors describe slavery, mutilations in Tigray

‘Severity and scale’ of sexual crimes committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops amount to war crimes, the rights group says.

Ethiopian and Eritrean troops have raped hundreds of women and girls during the Tigray war, subjecting some to sexual slavery and mutilation, human rights group Amnesty International has said in a 36-page report.

Drawing from interviews with 63 survivors, the report (PDF) published on Wednesday sheds new light on a scourge already being investigated by Ethiopian law enforcement officials, with at least three soldiers convicted and 25 others charged.

Hunger Stalks Millions as Abiy Asks Ethiopians to Join Army

Fighting in northern Ethiopia may intensify further after the nation’s Nobel-laureate leader urged citizens to join the army and militias, which may add to the misery caused by nine months of civil war between the federal government and dissidents in the Tigray region.

About 300,000 people are facing “emergency levels of hunger” in Ethiopia’s Amhara and Afar states, where Tigrayan forces began an offensive after regaining most of their territory from government troops in June, the World Food Programme said on Monday. That’s in addition to about 5.2 million people in Tigray who’ve been impacted by the conflict and desperately need food aid.

At river where Tigrayan bodies floated, fears of ‘many more’

From time to time, a body floating down the river separating Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region from Sudan was a silent reminder of a war conducted in the shadows. But recently, the corpses became a flow.

Bloated, drained of color from their journey, the bodies were often mutilated: genitals severed, eyes gouged, a missing limb. The Sudanese fishermen who spotted them, and the refugees from Tigray who helped pull them to shore, found many corpses’ hands bound. Some of them had been shot.

The Associated Press reported dozens of bodies floating down the Tekeze River last week and saw six of the graves on Wednesday, marking the first time any reporters could reach the scene. Doctors who saw the bodies said one was tattooed with a common name in the Tigrinya language and others had the facial markings common among Tigrayans, raising fresh alarm about atrocities in the least-known area of the Tigray war.

nytimes: As Ethiopia’s Civil War Rages, Bodies Float Downriver Into Sudan

The bodies floated over the border in ones and twos, bloated and bearing knife or gunshot wounds, carried on waters that flow from the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia.

At least 40 bodies have washed up on a riverbank in eastern Sudan in the past week, in some cases just a few hundred yards from the border with Ethiopia, according to international aid workers and doctors who helped retrieve the corpses.

The grisly finds at the river are apparent evidence of the latest atrocities in a brutal, nine-month civil war between Ethiopian federal forces and their allies, and fighters in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia — a conflict accompanied by reports of massacres, ethnic cleansing and widespread sexual assault.

Tigray: As famine looms, first WFP humanitarian flight arrives

As conflict escalates in the surrounding regions, including neighbouring Afar, safe passage for humanitarian convoys into Tigray remains a primary concern for WFP and the humanitarian community. 

WFP hopes to reach an additional 80,000 people in the northwest, warning that once distributed, food stocks are likely to run out thereafter.

US Comedian Tiffany Haddish Faces Twitter Backlash Over Controversial Support for Eritrean Leader Tigray to allow aid

American actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish has enraged social media users for her opinions on the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

The 41-year-old performer, who recently lost out on the coveted job of replacing  Ellen DeGeneres as an NBC talk show host, has been described as a “disgusting human being” because she supports Eritrea, which is fighting alongside the Ethiopians.

Aljazeera: Over 90 percent of people in war-hit Tigray need food aid

A total of 5.2 million people in Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray region, or 91 percent of its population, need emergency food aid, the United Nations has warned.

The warning by the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) came as it appealed for more than $200m to scale up its response in the northern region where nearly seven months of fighting has caused an increase in already high hunger levels.

WPR: Eritrea Goes From Pariah State to Regional Powerbroker

In early May, when Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki visited Sudan, the official objective of the trip was to strengthen bilateral ties within a regional framework. The visit nevertheless raised eyebrows. It came on the heels of Eritrea’s military participation in Ethiopia’s civil war in Tigray region, and also at a time of rising tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and a border dispute involving areas near Tigray, among other issues. Unofficially, local observers have suggested that Eritrea may seek a role in mediating between Ethiopia and Sudan.