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.

AFP: UN condemns ‘dangerous’ claims of bias against aid workers in Tigray

The UN’s humanitarian chief on Tuesday condemned as “dangerous” accusations by Ethiopian government officials that aid workers were biased in favour of — and even arming — rebel forces in war-hit Tigray.

Martin Griffiths also called for access to allow desperately needed aid into the region where the UN says hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from famine.

“Blanket accusations of humanitarian aid workers need to stop,” he said during a press conference at the end of a six-day visit to Ethiopia, his first mission in his new role.

Troubles pile up ahead of Ethiopia’s first polls under Abiy

Ethiopia is set to hold elections in a month, but with war in the north, ethnic violence elsewhere and major logistical hurdles, the path to credible polls is littered with obstacles.

A six-month-old war in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region is the most high-profile of several security crises that will make voting impossible in large swathes of the country.

‘No more sacred places’: Heritage sites under siege in Tigray conflict

“Not only us, but Muslims all over the world are shocked that this happened,”

“The FCDO must doIn the town of Dengolat, hundreds of residents hid in a centuries-old Orthodox church as Eritrean soldiers allegedly gunned down more than 160 civilians in late November.

At around the same time, Eritrean soldiers massacred hundreds of civilians in the ancient Tigray city of Axum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, including Orthodox Christians gathering for a major festival, according to Human Rights Watch.

Ethiopia’s Tigray Conflict: Six Months On and No End in Sight

A “dirty war” with no fronts that was causing suffering for “defenseless victims”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told Congress that “ethnic cleansing” is unfolding in western Tigray, with Amharas driving out Tigrayans 

“Further deterioration is expected as the conflict continues and disrupts the next planting season,” the UN said Tuesday.

Eritrean troops block, loot food aid in Tigray: documents

Eritrean soldiers are blocking and looting food aid in Ethiopia’s war-hit Tigray region, according to government documents obtained by AFP, stoking fears of starvation deaths as fighting nears the six-month mark.

Eritrean soldiers have also started showing up at food distribution points in Tigray, looting the supplies after “our beneficiaries became frightened and (ran) away.

Blinken presses Ethiopia on ‘humanitarian disaster’ in Tigray

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday pressed Ethiopia to address what he called an impending “disaster” in Tigray, including rising fears of famine.

In a phone call with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Blinken voiced “grave concern about the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights crisis in the country” and the “growing humanitarian disaster” in conflict-torn Tigray, the State Department said.

IBTimes: U.N. rights chief agrees to Ethiopia request for joint Tigray inquiry

Tigray residents have told human rights groups and journalists of massacres, widespread sexual violence and indiscriminate killings of civilians by security forces in the region.

Aid workers, meanwhile, say Tigray’s health system has largely collapsed and warn of possible large-scale starvation.

MSN: ‘The fighting continues’: A Tigray town reels from drawn-out war

“The war is escalating. Now it is focused on the civilians,” Kibrom said.

“How can we live like this?”

Every phase of the four-month-old conflict in Tigray has brought suffering to Wukro, a fast-growing transport hub once best-known for its religious and archaeological sites.

Ahead of federal forces’ arrival in late November, heavy shelling levelled homes and businesses and sent plumes of dust and smoke rising above near-deserted streets.

CNN: Blinken: Acts of ‘ethnic cleansing’ committed in Western Tigray

“The challenge in Ethiopia is very significant. And it’s one that we’re very, very focused on, particularly the situation in Tigray where we are seeing very credible reports of human rights abuses and atrocities that are ongoing,”