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Posts Tagged ‘Women’

NGOs Call for UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Tigray

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 11, 2021

Your Excellency,

We, the undersigned human rights non-governmental organizations, strongly urge the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to adopt a resolution at its upcoming 47thsession (HRC47) on the ongoing human rights crisis in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Over the last seven months an overwhelming number of reports have emerged of abuses and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law (IHL/IHRL) during the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region. Reports by civil society organizations have detailed widespread massacres, violence against civilians and indiscriminate attacks across Tigray while preliminary analysis by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) indicates that all warring parties have committed abuses that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. There is now ample evidence that atrocities continue to be committed, notably by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Eritrean Defense Forces, and Amhara regional special police and affiliated Fano militias. These include indiscriminate attacks and direct attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, widespread and mass extrajudicial executions, rape and other sexual violence, forced displacement, arbitrary detentions, including of displaced persons, widespread destruction and pillage of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, factories and businesses, and the destruction of refugee camps, crops and livestock.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict has repeatedly expressed alarm over the widespread and systematic commission of rape and sexual violence in Tigray. On 21 April she stated that women and girls in Tigray are being subjected to sexual violence “with a cruelty that is beyond comprehension,” including gang rape by men in uniform, targeted sexual attacks on young girls and pregnant women, and family members forced to witness these horrific abuses. The SRSG also stated that these reports, coupled with assessments by healthcare providers in the region, indicate that sexual violence is being used as a weapon of war.

Thousands of civilians are estimated to have been killed, while the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes at least 1.7 million people remain displaced. On top of ethnic targeting and massacres within Tigray, there have been reports of government discrimination, demonization and hate speech directed at Tigrayans in other parts of Ethiopia. A number of UN officials, from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to UNICEF’s Executive Director and the UN Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, have publicly called for urgent action to end the abuses in Tigray and alleviate the conflict’s devastating impact on the region’s civilian population.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator has also warned that famine is imminent in Tigray and that without a drastic upscaling of funding and access, hundreds of thousands of people could starve. Despite this looming risk, humanitarian workers have also been targeted throughout the conflict, with nine aid workers killed since November, the most recent on 29 May.

On 25 March, OHCHR and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission announced the launch of a joint investigation into the ongoing reports of atrocity crimes in Tigray. On 12 May, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted an important resolution establishing a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate violations of IHL and IHRL and identify perpetrators. Unfortunately, the HRC has so far remained largely silent on Tigray, aside from a welcome joint statement delivered by Germany on behalf of 42 states on 26 February 2021.

A robust, dedicated and coordinated approach to this human rights crisis by the international community is both critical and urgent, given the gravity of ongoing crimes, the complex nature of the situation, and the involvement of various parties. After seven months of serious violations and abuses, the HRC can no longer stay silent. It should take urgent action to address the crisis and fulfil its mandate to address and prevent violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations and abuses, and to respond promptly to emergencies. We therefore respectfully urge your Mission to work towards the adoption of a resolution at HRC47 that:

· Recognizes the serious concerns expressed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, SRSG on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect, and other senior UN officials regarding possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Tigray;

· Requests the High Commissioner to report on her investigations, findings and recommendations to date regarding the human rights situation in Tigray, Ethiopia, and possible violations of IHL and IHRL at the HRC’s 48th session in the context of an enhanced interactive dialogue;

· Also invites the ACHPR’s CoI to brief the HRC on its investigation at the enhanced interactive dialogue at the 48th session;

· Emphasizes the important role of the HRC’s prevention mandate, as outlined in Resolution 45/31, and requests the High Commissioner to brief UN member states intersessionally and on an ad-hoc basis to update the HRC on the situation in Tigray.

The adoption of such a resolution would provide a concrete foundation for the HRC to decide on the action needed to prevent further human rights violations and abuses in Tigray and ensure accountability.

Excellencies, please accept the assurances of our highest consideration,

Source

Where’s the UN Security Council’s formal Meeting on Tigray?

At a high-level U.S. and EU event on the ongoing crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region yesterday, USAID Administrator Samantha Power expressed frustration that the U.N. — the body in which she used to represent U.S. interests — hasn’t been able to act to stop atrocities.

The meeting came as U.N. agencies warned of “looming famine” in Tigray, where over 350,000 people are already facing catastrophic food insecurity.

“I’ve lived through great frustration on the Security Council,” Power said, referencing being unable to secure “a tough resolution on an issue of grave concern.” On Tigray: “Not even to have a formal meeting on something of this enormity — it’s shocking, truly, and will go down in history … as a very shameful period.”

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield called the Security Council’s failure to act “unacceptable.” “Do African lives not matter?” she asked. The Irish Mission to the U.N. has asked the Security Council to meet on Tigray, and expects it to happen next Tuesday.

The U.S. and EU released a joint statement following the meeting, calling for a cease-fire, adherence to international humanitarian law, immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access, withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Ethiopia, and a scale-up of international support.

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ከዋልድባ እንዲሰደዱ የተደረጉት መነኮሳት በምሕላ አክሱም | ይብላኝ ለጎንደር ክርስቲያኖች፤ እዬዬ!

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 10, 2021

እንደው ለመሆኑ እነዚህን አባቶች ከዋልድባ ለማባረር የደፈረው የትንቢት መፈጸሚያ ማን ይሆን? ለመላዋ ኢትዮጵያ ለመላዋ ዓለም ስራስር እየተመገቡ ጸሎት የሚያደርሱት እነዚህ መነኮሳት ተንገላተው፣ ተደብደበውና ተሳድደው ለረሃብ ሲጋለጡ በእነ ገመድኩን ሰቀለ የጎፈንድሚ የሚሰበሰብላቸው የአማራ “መነኮሳት” እንጀራ እየበሉ በሰላም ሊኖሩ? ምን ዓይነት ጉድ ነው?! ዋይ! ዋይ! ዋይ! በይበልጥ የማዝነው ዛሬ አክሱም እንዲገቡ ለተገደዱት አባቶቻችን ሳይሆን ከዋልድባ ላስወጧቸው ፍጥረታት ነው። እግዚአብሔር በጣም የሚጠላው ተግባር ነውና።

ሌላው በጣም የሚያሳዝነው ነገር ደግሞ ይህን ትልቅ ክስተት ቸል በማለት “መነኮሳት ለምን ከዋልድባ ወጡ?” “እንዲሰደዱ የተደረጉት መነኮሳት ሁኔታስ ምን ላይ ይገኛል?” በማለት ለማሰላሰል፣ ለመጠየቅ እና ክርስቲያናዊ ግዴታውን ለመወጣት ያልቻለው/ያልፈለገው “ኢትዮጵያዊ እና ክርቲያን ነኝ” ባይ ወገን ነው።  በዚህ ወቅት ከዚህ የበለጠና 24/7  ሊነገርለት፣ ሊታሰብለትና መፍትሔ ሊገኝለት የሚገባ ሌላ ጉዳይ ይኖራልን? በፍጹም! ማድረግ ያለበትን ነገር ማድረግ አለመቻሉንና አለመፈለጉን ሳይ “ምን ያህል ልቡ ቢጨልም ነው? እጆቿን ወደ እግዚአብሔር እንደምትዘረጋ ቅዱስ ዳዊት የተነበየላትን ኢትዮጵያ አገራችንን ምን ያህል ቢጠሏት ነው? ” ብዬ እራሴን ደግሜ ደጋግሜ እንድጠይቅ እገደዳለሁ። በመንፈሳዊ ሕይወት የሚገጥመንን ይህን  መሰሉን ተግዳሮት ለመፋለም አለመሞከርና አለመሻት ወደ ጥልቁ የሚያስወርድ ውድቀት  ነውና።

በአማራ፣ በኦሮሞ፣ በቤኒሻንጉል እና በደቡብ ክልሎች ላሉ ክርስቲያን ወንድሞች እና እኅቶች እንባዬን አነባለሁ። ካልረፈደና መማር የምትሹ ከሆነ ትማሩበት ዘንድ ኃይል ከማን ጋር እንደሆነ ታዩት ዘንድ ግድ ይሆናል። እንግዲህ ያው ዛሬ በጌታችን የዕርገት ዕለት የአዲስ አበባውን መስቀል አደባባይን በአህዛብ አስነጠቃችሁት፤ ለምን? ለራሳችሁም፣ ለልጆቻችሁም፣ ለወንድሞቻችሁና እኅቶቻችሁም ለአምላካችሁም መቆም/መኖር ስላቃታችሁ እኮ ነው። አዎ! ለጌታችን ካላችሁ ፍቅር ይልቅ ለትግራዋይ የጽዮን ልጆች ያላችሁ ጥላቻ ጠንክሮባችኋል እኮ፤ እዬዬ! እዬዬ! እዬዬ!

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Posted in Ethiopia, Faith, Infos, Life, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ክርስቲያን ኢትዮጵያዊ ነኝ የሚል እንዴት በእነዚህ እናቶች ላይ ሊዘምት ይችላል? | አዲስ የአክሱም ምሕላ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 9, 2021

ሕጻናቱ እንዴት ያስደስታሉ!😊😊😊

ዛሬ ጽኑና ጠንካራ ክርስቲያኖች የሆኑ እናቶችና አባቶች፤ እንኳን በሌላው ዓለም በኢትዮጵያ እንኳን ተፈልገው አይገኙም። ከእነዚህ እናቶችና ሕፃናት ውጭ ማነው ለኢትዮጵያ እና ለመላው ዓለም ያለመታከት ለዘመናት እንዲህ ጸሎት የሚያደርስ? የትኛዋ እናት?

ሳህለ ወርቅ ዘውዴ?

መዓዛ አሸናፊ?

ስንቅነሽ እጅጉ?

ሙፈሪያት ካሚል?

አስቴር ማሞ?

አይሻ መሀመድ?

ብርቱካን ሚደክሳ?

ሊያ ታደሰ?

ዳግማዊት ሞገስ?

ፊልሳን አብዱላሂ?

ሂሩት ካሳው?

አዳነች አቤቤ?

ሂሩት ወልደ ማርያም?

ዝናሽ ታያቸው?

መቼስ የአክሱም ጽዮንን እናቶች እንደ ዓይን ብሌኑ እየተንከባከበ ከመጠበቅና በዚህም ቅዱስ ተግባራቸው ከማመስገን፣ ከመደስትና ከመበረታታት በቀር ሊቀና እና ሊናደድ ብሎም ጦር ይዞ ሊዘምትባቸው የሚሻ ፍጡር በሕይወት መጽሐፍ ያልተጻፈ የዲያብሎስ ጭፍራ ብቻ ነው።

✞✞✞[የዮሐንስ ራእይ ምዕራፍ ፳፥፭]✞✞✞

በሕይወትም መጽሐፍ ተጽፎ ያልተገኘው ማንኛውም በእሳት ባሕር ውስጥ ተጣለ።

በሌላው ዓለም እኮ ይህ አይታይም/አይታወቅም። ምን ያህል መታደል እንደሆነ እኮ ብዙዎቻችን አላውቅነውም። እስኪ በየትኛው መላው ሕዝብ ለሰባት ወራት ያህል እየተሳደደ፣ እየተደፈረ፣ እየተገለለ እና እየተጨፈጨፈ ይህን ዓይነት የእምነት ጥንካሬና የምግባር ጽናት የሚያሳየው? የአቶ ደመላሽ እርስት አመላሽን እና የሁሉም “ኬኛ”ን ስጋዊ ምኞት ምን ያህል እርቀት እንደወሰዳቸው አየነው እኮ ነው። በኤዶማውያኑም ሆነ በእስማኤላውያኑ ዓለም እኮ ማህበረሰባቱ እንኳን ይህ ሁሉ ግፍ ደርሶባቸው፤ የዕለት ቡናቸውን ካጡ እንኳን ልጆቻቸውን የፈንጅ ቀበቶ አስታጥቀ ወደ ፓርላማ ይልኳቸዋል ፤ በሶማሊያ፣ በሚነሶታ እና በፍልስጤም የምናየው እኮ ይህን ነው።

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Posted in Ethiopia, Faith, Life, War & Crisis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#TigrayGenocide | Grave Humanitarian Crisis is Unfolding in Ethiopia | National Geographic

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 1, 2021

I never saw hell before, but now I have.”

The only roads open in besieged Tigray, a semi-autonomous federal state in northern Ethiopia, lead to endless tales of darkness. Most roads north and south from Tigray’s capital of Mekele have been closed to journalists and humanitarian aid. Burnt-out tanks and looted ambulances stripped of engines and wheels line the road west. Patches of towering eucalyptus trees give way to rocky, untilled fields—and checkpoint after checkpoint manned by Ethiopian troops. Soldiers from neighboring Eritrea saunter casually through villages, marking their presence.

Almost everyone in the region has a story to share, but few will show their faces on camera. Fear is everywhere.

Araya Gebretekle had six sons. Four of them were executed while harvesting millet in their fields on the outskirts of the town of Abiy Addi in west Tigray. Araya says Ethiopian soldiers approached five of his sons with their guns raised; as his children begged for their lives in the fields—explaining they were simply farmers—a female soldier ordered them dead. They pleaded for the troops to spare one of the brothers in order to help their elderly father work the fields. The soldiers let the youngest—a 15-year-old—go free. He lived to recount the story to his parents. Now, says Araya, “my wife is staying at home always crying. I haven’t left the house until today, and every night I dream of them.… There were six sons. I asked the oldest one to be there, too, but thank God he refused.”

Kesanet Gebremichael wails as nurses try to change the bandages and clean the wounds on her charred flesh at Ayder Hospital in the regional capital Mekele. The 13-year-old was inside her home in the village of Ahferom, near Aksum, when it was hit by long-range artillery. “My house was destroyed in the fire,” says her mother, Genet Asmelash. “My child was inside.” The girl suffered burns on more than 40 percent of her body.

Senayit was raped by soldiers on two separate occasions—in her home in Edagahamus, and as she tried to flee to Mekele with her 12-year-old son. (The names of the rape victims mentioned in this story are pseudonyms.) The second time, she was pulled from a minibus, drugged, and brought to a military base, where she was tied to a tree and sexually assaulted repeatedly over the course of 10 days. She fell in and out of consciousness from the pain, exhaustion, and trauma. At one point, she awoke to a horrifying sight: Her son, along with a woman and her new baby, were all dead at her feet. “I saw my son with blood from his neck,” she says. “I saw only his neck was bleeding. He was dead.” Senayit crumpled into her tears, her fists clenched against her face, and howled a visceral cry of pain and sadness, unable to stop weeping. “I never buried him,” she screamed, between sobs. “I never buried him.”

Continue reading…

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Tigray: Call it Genocide, Prosecute Its Leaders and End It

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 29, 2021

The Tigrayan people should not, must not, wait for one century, one year or even one more day for the world to acknowledge their plight and rescue them from obliteration.

On 26 May 2021, US President Joe Biden issued a bold statement on the raging crisis in Ethiopia, warning of escalating violence and the hardening of regional and ethnic divisions, including the “large-scale human rights abuses” and “widespread sexual violence” taking place in Tigray. But he stopped short of calling the appalling atrocities in Tigray by their true name: genocide.

Just one month earlier, Biden had righted an historic wrong by pronouncing the attempted extermination of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 to have been a “genocide.” The Armenians had waited 106 years for this rhetorical symbol of justice. The Nazis’ attempt to eradicate the Jewish people was not recognised until it was too late to do anything about it. Rwandans had to wait four full years to hear President Bill Clinton express “deep regret” that he had not declared the massacre in 1994 of a million of their compatriots a genocide. Biden’s condemnation sends a message of solidarity to Ethiopians everywhere and to the people of Tigray in particular. But it also risks igniting false hopes that the international community will now take decisive action to prevent the erasure of an entire nation.

For almost seven months now, the armies of Ethiopia and Eritrea, aided and abetted by extremist militias from the neighbouring Amhara ethnic group, have been engaged in a well-planned, deliberate and systematic genocide of the Tigrayan people. The government in Addis Ababa claims that the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) started the fighting with a surprise attack on a military garrison and that they must be brought to justice. The TPLF claims that a pre-emptive strike was necessary to disrupt the government’s pre-meditated war plans. But it no longer matters who fired the first shot or whether the ossified TPLF leadership should have anticipated that armed conflict could be used to justify their people’s extermination. Between November 2020 and March 2021, the University of Ghent, in Belgium, documented more than 150 massacres across Tigray, including victims as young as two years old and as old as 93; the killing has continued unabated.

Despite systematic government attempts to restrict humanitarian access and impose a media blackout, some courageous journalists, aid workers and activists have succeeded in reporting these atrocities. But most of Tigray remains inaccessible to outsiders and communications are severely restricted, so the vast majority of these crimes remain unknown and undocumented. As a medical doctor from Tigray who served in the regional capital of Mekelle during the first four months of the genocide before fleeing my country one month ago, I have watched this violence unfolding with my own eyes and I bear both personal and professional witness.

Mass murder is not enough for the masterminds of the atrocities in Tigray, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki. Their armed forces and allied militias seek to exterminate the Tigrayan people by inducing mass starvation; they are burning crops and seeds, cutting trees, destroying agricultural implements, killing animals, and destroying small dams and irrigation canals, to cripple the agricultural sector. The troops grind any remaining foodstuff they find into the dirt or manure with their boots to make it inedible. In late May, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock estimated that “over 90% of the harvest was lost due to looting, burning, or other destruction, and that 80% of the livestock in the region were looted or slaughtered.”

I have watched this violence unfolding with my own eyes and I bear both personal and professional witness.

Reports by UN agencies and Tigray’s interim administration assert that more than 2.3 million people in the region are internally displaced, and 5.2 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. According to UNICEF, the number of severely malnourished children in Tigray has gone up nearly 90 per cent in the past week. Uncounted numbers of people have already died of hunger. But the Ethiopian government, the Eritrean Army, and Amhara forces are determined to block humanitarian efforts, impeding and obstructing access by aid agencies. At least eight aid workers have been killed in the last six months.

The coordinated ethnic cleansing by Ethiopia and Eritrean troops in collaboration with Amhara militias also involves erasing all traces of Tigrayan identity, a heritage that dates back to the Axumite kingdom of the 2nd Century CE. To this end, they have decreed the unrestricted use of mass rape, sexual slavery, and the traumatic sterilisation of Tigrayan women as instruments of war. As a doctor I have seen the unspeakable suffering of the victims of such sexual violence, including gratuitous mutilation and torture.

But these war crimes have a much broader and equally sinister strategic purpose: the total annihilation of Tigrayans as a people. According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, some 1.2 million inhabitants of Western Tigray have been driven from their homes, many of them killed or incarcerated in concentration camps. The occupying authorities have officially annexed these territories and encouraged ethnic Amharas from Gojjam and Gonder regions to claim the lands, properties and assets abandoned by their rightful Tigrayan owners. While men are killed or interned, Tigrayan women and children under seven are forced to take Amhara identity if they wish to remain in their homes. Women are also forced to serve as concubines for Amhara militia so that they no longer bear children of Tigrayan descent. National census exercises in 1978 and 1994 indicated that the inhabitants of these zones were overwhelmingly Tigrigna speakers. If ethnic cleansing continues at this rate, Tigrayans could become a minority in their homeland before the end of this year.

The coordinated ethnic cleansing by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops in collaboration with Amhara militias also involves erasing all traces of Tigrayan identity.

Tigray’s unique contribution to Ethiopia’s national heritage is also being methodically obliterated. The ancient monasteries of Debredamo, Dengolat St Mary, and the Al Nejashi Mosque – possibly the oldest in Africa – have all been vandalised. Aksum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been razed and pillaged by Eritrean and Ethiopian troops.

The progress of this genocidal campaign beyond Tigray is hard to assess, but – as the Associated Press reported on 29 April – there is no question that Tigrayans throughout Ethiopia, and even beyond its borders, have been subjected to profiling, arbitrary arrest and detention, travel restrictions, dismissal from government posts and transfer to concentration camps. Tens of thousands of Tigrayan members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force have also been disarmed and detained on the grounds that they might pose some undefined security threat. Some have refused orders to return to Ethiopia from peacekeeping missions abroad for fear of persecution.

In addition to President Biden’s statement, the United States government and the European Union have both called for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray, and have announced plans to impose travel restrictions on Ethiopian and Eritrean officials responsible for these atrocities, with the possibility of further sanctions to follow.

These are welcome measures, but they are in no way commensurate with the scale of the crimes being committed against the people of Tigray, the depth of human suffering or the depravity of men who seek to exterminate a nation of more than 6 million people.

If ethnic cleansing continues at this rate, Tigrayans could become a minority in their homeland before the end of this year.

Genocides, like other core international crimes, do not simply “happen” or “unfold”: they are premeditated, prepared, and perpetrated by individual leaders and their followers. The killers seek to dehumanise and displace the blame onto their victims, not only to make it easier for their forces to kill, but also to confound the international community, create confusion and buy time for the long, laborious work of mass murder.

As a medical professional, as a witness, and as a husband, father, brother, and son, I cannot accept that the dead, the maimed and the destitute survivors in Tigray be stripped of their humanity. I have tended to their horrifying wounds, shared their suffering, and buried their dead. Some sympathetic observers have encouraged me to publicly describe their injuries in detail so as to elicit global revulsion, but I believe that to do so would be a second desecration of these victims. No people, whatever the alleged sins of their erstwhile political masters, should ever have to face extermination like vermin or pests at the hands of their own government.

The Tigrayan people should not, must not, wait for one century, one year or even one more day for the world to acknowledge their plight and rescue them from obliteration. President Biden and other world leaders have a moral and legal duty to call this evil in Tigray by its true name, genocide, and to identify and prosecute those ultimately responsible for this most heinous of crimes – Abiy Ahmed and Isaias Afwerki. And then to act with ruthless efficiency and determination to end the genocide.

Source

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Ethiopia-Tigray: Call for Referring Conflict-Related Sexual Violence to ICC

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 29, 2021

Although gender-based violence is largely underreported, at least 22,500 survivors of sexual violence in Tigray are estimated to seek clinical management of rape services. (UNFPA, 2021).

The perpetrators allegedly are Eritrean troops (33%), Ethiopian ENDF (44%), both Eritrean and ENDF (6%), and Amhara militia (6%). (Insecurity Insight, 30 March 2021)

This presentation was made at the Conference “Voices From Tigray: Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Against Women In Tigray”, organized by European External Programme With Africa (EEPA) on May 25th, 2021.

By Reinhard Jacobsen

The scale and brutality of crimes of conflict-related sexual violence against women committed in Tigray have drawn widespread condemnation from around the world.

It was no surprise that the Europe External Programme with Africa (EEPA) focussed on that theme in the Webinar organised on May 25. EEPA is a Belgium-based centre of expertise with in-depth knowledge, publications, and networks, specialised in issues of peacebuilding, refugee protection, and resilience in the Horn of Africa.

The importance of the Webinar also lies in the fact that there is massive underreporting of sexual violence against women. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated in April that 22,500 women would require support as a consequence of conflict-related sexual violence.

The shame and fear associated with the violence and perpetrators acting with impunity and the destruction of local administration and hospitals compound the problem of underreporting. In fact, whatever little is being reported is only the tip of the iceberg.

Many have described conflict-related sexual violence as a weapon of war used against the civilian population, and committed, in part, with genocidal intent.

The perpetrators are said to be the Eritrean troops with a heavy presence in Tigray under the so-called National Service, a form of nation-wide indefinite slavery, which the UN Special Commission of Inquiry has defined as crimes against humanity.

The Commission has recommended the practice to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The other perpetrators mentioned are the Amhara and Ethiopian National Defence.

After months of denial, Nobel laureate Prime Minister Abiy has meanwhile admitted that Eritrean troops as present and identified these as potential perpetrators of sexual violence against Tigrayan women and girls.

The Webinar meeting was chaired by Julia Duncan-Cassell, former Minister of Gender in Liberia. In her concluding remarks, she asked all African women in leadership to step up their voice to stop the harrowing perpetration of rape as a weapon of war in Tigray.

Duncan-Cassell told the Tigray women who gave their testimony in the webinar that African women were sharing their pain and asked Africa and the world to end the violence against women.

She said that former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, now African Union Envoy to the Horn, is following the situation closely and closely working with US UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to address it.

Duncan-Cassell closed the webinar by stating that “The perpetration of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence has not diminished and is spreading across the Horn. There must be concerted and coordinated international pressure and targeted sanctions. These atrocities must come to an end, and soldiers and their commanders must be prosecuted.”

She called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Tigray, particularly those from Eritrea, the referral of the deployment by Eritrea of National Service in a foreign jurisdiction to the International Criminal Court, and all parties in Tigray to end with immediate effect the impunity of the use of Rape as a Weapon of War.

In an opening keynote address, a Member of the European Parliament said that girls and women being raped in the Tigray region are reportedly aged between 8 and 72. The rapes are being carried out in front of family, husbands, and children. The rapes can last for days, and often inflict life-threatening injuries.

She referred to Sir Mark Andrew Lowcock, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, describing the attacks in Eritrea, “as a means to humiliate, terrorize, and traumatize an entire population today and into the next generation.”

“I have said many times, it is beyond comprehension that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, has overseen such destruction, tyranny and deprivation,” she added.

Sometimes the world views war as the theatre of men. But it is often women that pay an equal or greater price behind the scenes: Loss of economic empowerment, rape, forced prostitution, starvation, backsteps in social equality, she added.

“Sexual violence against women and girls has been used as a weapon of war for centuries. The lasting damage clear to see. We saw it with the women of Rwanda, South Korea, Yugoslavia; and these are just the examples of the last century.

“But the inaction of the international community makes it seem as though we have learned nothing. President Biden, the G7, the UN, and the EU have all condemned and expressed concern over what is happening.

“But words are not enough to make the suffering of women stop. Condemnation is important, but it’s not enough to make families sleep soundly tonight in Tigray.

“There must be concerted and coordinated international pressure and targeted sanctions. These atrocities must come to an end, and soldiers and their commanders must be prosecuted.”

In the Webinar, women from Tigray presented their harrowing ordeal, a third of rapes executed as gang rapes, over multiple days, in public, in front of family members including their children, their genitals burned or filled with foreign objects including burning sticks and relatives forced to perpetrate rape on Tigray women. The testimonies said that witnesses of the crimes committed and the children including babies of the rape victims were killed in the violence.

Selam Kidane, an Eritrean human rights advocate, told the conference that Eritrea is committing troops in Tigray that have suffered under the plight of National Service, a form of slavery, which has been qualified as a Crime against Humanity and she begged the international community to refer Eritrea to the ICC for the crimes committed by Eritrea on foreign soil in Tigray.

Mariam Basajja presented the Africa Women for Peace in the Horn Initiative expressing those young women from the entire continent stood by the women in Tigray

Tigray Human Rights advocate, Meaza Gidey, called the rape against women in Tigray a genocide: “Women are raped because they are Tigrayan, to cleanse the bloodline. The world has all the facts. I call on all relevant actors to listen to the cries of the innocent women of Tigray. They are not only being raped but they are also starved to death.”

Malgorzata Tarasiewicz, Director from East-West Women Network based in Poland, said the international community had all the tools it needed to respond to the situation in Tigray where rape is used as a weapon of war and that it should respond without delay.

Source

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Cries of The Victims of Mass Rape Go Unheard in Ethiopia’s Tigray Mountain War | የትግራይ ሴቶች ሰቆቃ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on May 10, 2021

🔥 በኢትዮጵያ የትግራይ ተራራ ጦርነት የብዙዎች አስገድዶ መድፈር ሰለባዎች ጩኸት ተሰምቶ አያውቅም 😠😠😠 😢😢😢

The Guardian

😈 አረመኔው የኦሮሞ መሪ ግራኝ አብዮት አህመድ ለትግራይ ሴቶች ሰቆቃ ቍ. ፩ ተጠያቂ ነው

🔥 ዛሬ በሰሜን ኢትዮጵያ፡ በትግራይ በርካታ ሴቶች እና ልጃገረዶች በተንሰራፋው የወሲብ ጥቃት ሳቢያ እንደገና “ለማሰብ ለማይቻል” ሽብር እና ስቃይ ተዳርገዋል።

🔥 በዜጎች ላይ የሚደርሰው ጉዳት እየጨመረ መምጣቱን የአካባቢው ተንታኞች ይናገራሉ። የተከማቹ መረጃዎች እንደሚያመለክቱት የጦር ወንጀሎች እና በሰው ልጆች ላይ የሚፈጸሙ ወንጀሎች በሁሉም ወገኖች ተፈጽመዋል። ግን የአብይ አህመድ ጦር ፣ በድብቅ ወደ ትግራይ የጠራቸው የኤርትራ ወታደሮች እና የአማራ ሚሊሻዎች ዋና ጥፋተኞች እንደሆኑ ይታመናል።

🔥 ጠ / ሚኒስትር ዓብይ አህመድ ትግራይን ለማጥቃት ባደረገው የተሳሳተ እና አሰቃቂ ውሳኔ በተለይ ሴቶች የአስገድዶ መድፈር ሰለባ የሚሆኑበትን መንገድ ከፍቶላቸዋል።

🔥 ከሦስት ዓመታት በፊት የአፍሪካ ትልቅ የስኬት ታሪክ የነበረችው ኢትዮጵያ ፥ በአብይ አህመድ አገዛዝ ስር ግን ከጊዜ ወደ ጊዜ ወደ መፈረካከስ እና ወደ ውድቀት እያመራች ነው። ዓለም አቀፉ ማህበረሰብ ከመዘግየቱ በፊት አብይ አህመድን ተጠያቂ ማድረግ ይኖርበታል።

🔥 በትግራይ የተጎዱ ፣ የተረሱ/የተተዉ ሴቶች ራሳቸውን መከላከል አይችሉም። ሳይታዩ እና ሳይሰሙ በእንባ ባህር ውስጥ በመስጠም ላይ ይገኛሉ። 😠😠😠 😢😢😢

🔥 Today, in Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, large numbers of women and girls are again being subjected to “unimaginable” terror and suffering as a result of pervasive sexual violence

🔥 Civilian casualties continue to mount, regional analysts say. Accumulating evidence suggests war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by all parties. But Abiy’s army, the Eritrean troops he secretly invited into Tigray, and Amhara militia are believed to be the main culprits.

🔥 Prime minister Abiy Ahmed opened the way for victimisation of women with disastrous decision to attack Tigray

🔥 Ethiopia – once Africa’s big success story – is at growing risk of fracture and failure under Abiy Ahmed. The international community should call him personally to account before it’s too late.

🔥 Tigray’s abused, abandoned women cannot do it themselves. Unseen and unheard, they are drowning in a sea of tears.

ትግራይ የመጨረሻዋ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዷውያን መኖሪያ ስለሆነች፤ ጦርነቱን ከሁሉም አቅጣጫ ነው የከፈቱባት! የአስገድዶ መድፈር ጂሃድ እነ ግራኝ የመረጡት አንዱ መሳሪያ ነው፤ ኦሮሞ/ጋላ አባቶቹ ከአምስት መቶ ዓመታት በፊት ጀምሮ ሲከተሉት የነበሩት የወረራ እና የክርስቶስ ተቃዋሚ ዘር የመትከያ መንገዳቸው መካከል ልክ እንደ መሀመዳውያኑ፤ አስገድዶ መድፈር፣ ክርስቲያን የሆኑትን ሴቶች በፍቅር ማጥመድ፣ ከእነርሱ ብዙ ልጆች መፈልፈል የሚሉት ስልቶች ይገኙበታል።

እንግዲህ በዚህ ዲያብሎሳዊ ተግባራቸው የዋቄዮአላህአቴቴን እርኩስ መንፈስ በሕዝበ ክርስቲያኑ ላይ ለመሙላት ይሞክራሉ ማለት ነው። ይህን (እንደቅላችኋላን!) የሚለውን ተለዕኳቸውን በአውሮፓ እና አሜሪካ ዩኒቨርሲቲዎች ከእኛ ጋር ይማሩ የነበሮ ኦሮሞዎች በቀጥታ ይነግሩን እንደነበር በደንብ አስታውሳለሁ።

ከአምስት መቶ ዓመታት በፊት ግራኝ ቀዳማዊ መላዋ ኢትዮጵያውያን እየወረረ ባዳከመበት ወቅት፤ ለእርዳታ መጥተው የነበሩት ፖርቱጋሎች በተለይ ሠፈረው የነበሩት ጎንደር አካባቢ ነበር። እነዚህ የፖርቱጋል ወታደሮች ከኢትዮጵያውያን ሴቶች ጋር የወሲብ ግኑኝነት በማድረግ በጊዜው ለኢትዮጵያ ያልተለመዱ እና ባይተዋር የነበሩትን ጨብጥን እና ቂጥኝን አስተላልፈውባቸው ነበር። እነዚህን የአባላዘር በሽታዎችን በግብረ ሥጋ ግንኙነት ፖርቱጋሎች በማስተላለፋቸው እጅግ በጣም የተዳከመው የጎንደር አካባቢ ሕዝብ ማምለጥ የቻለው ወደ ትግራይ አምልጧል(የእነ መለስ ዜናዊን አባቶች ጨምሮ ብዙ ታዋዊ ቤተሰቦች በትግራይ ሰፍረዋል)በጎንደር የቀረውና የተዳከመው ግን ለኦሮሞ/ጋላ ወረራ ሰለባ በመሆን ዛሬ የምናየውን ዲቃላ የኦሮማራ ማሕበረሰብ መፍጠር ችሏል።

በነገራችን ላይ፤ በአሜሪካዎቹ የሚገኙ ቀደምት አሜሪካውያን (ሎስ ኢንዲኼናስ ዴ አሜሪካ፣ የአሜረካ ቀይ ህንዶች፣Los indígenas de América , Native Red Indians)በአውሮፓውያኑ በተወረሩበት ወቅት አብዛኛው ያለቀው በጥይት ተኩስ ሳይሆን ያኔ በአሜሪካ ክፍለ ዓለም ባልነበረውና አውሮፓውያኑ ይዘውት በሄዱት የ ኢንፍሉዌንዛ /Influenza

ቫይረስ ነበር።

አዎ! ግፍ፤ ወይ እንደ ቀይ ህንዶች ያጠፋሀል ወይም እንደ እስራኤል ያጠነክርሀል!

ጥያቄው ሃበሻ የትኛውን ትመርጣለህ የሚለው ነው? የትግራይ ልጆችስ እንደ እስራኤላውያን እየታገሉና ጠላቶቻቸውን እያንበረከኩ ነው፤ አማራዎችስ? ምነው ልሂቃኑ ይህን ታሪክ አላስተማራቸው? መቼ ነው “በቃኝ!” ብሎ ጠላቱንና ወዳጁን በውል ለይቶ ከዋቄዮአላህ ዘንዶ እራሱን ነፃ የሚያወጣው?

ዛሬም ጽንፈኞቹ ኦሮሞዎች/ጋሎች፤ እሳቱን ያውርድባቸውና፤ ተመሳሳይ ሰይጣናዊ ተግባር በትግራይ ሴቶች ላይ በመፈጸም ላይ ይገኛሉ። የዋቄዮአላህ ልጆች በአውሮፓ እይፈጸሙት ያሉት የወሲብ ጂሃድ በትግራይ እህቶቻን ላይ ከሚታየው ጋር፤ በአፈጻጸሙ ተግባር፤ በቡድን አስገድዶ መድፈር፣ ሕፃናትን፣ አረጋውያንና ሴት መነኮሳትን መድፈራቸው፣ በደፈራዎቻቸው ወቅት ደፋሪዎቹ የሚናገሯቸው አጋንንታዊ (አላህ)ቃላት ወዘተ. በጣም ተመሳሳዮች ናቸው። ሁሉም ከሰይጣን ናቸውና አንድ ናቸው)

🔥 በትግራይ ላይ እየተፈጸመ ያለውን አስከፊ የዋቄዮአላህጂሃድ የሚመሩት የጋላማራ “ባለ ሥልጣናት” ፈንጂ ኮክቴል

👉 እያንዳንዱ የዋቄዮ-አላህ ልጅ ትግራዋይን እንዴት እንደከዱ ለማየት በትግራዋያን ላይ ግፍ በመፈጽም ላይ ያሉትን እነዚህን ግለሰቦች ብቻ እንደ ምሳሌ አድርጎ መውሰዱ በቂ ነው፦

አብዮት አህመድ አሊ(ሙስሊም መናፍቅ)

ዝናሽ አቴቴ አህመድ አሊ (ኦሮማራመናፍቅ)

ደመቀ መኮንን ሀሰን(ሙስሊም)

ሳሞራ አሞራ ዩኑስ (ሙስሊም)

ሙስጠፌ መሀመድ ዑመር (ሙስሊም)

ብርሃኑ ጂኒ ጁላ(ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ዲና ሙፍቲ (ሙስሊም)

መሀመድ ተሰማ (ሙስሊም)

ሀሰን ኢብራሂም(ሙስሊም)

ሬድዋን ሁሴን (ሙሊም)

ሞፈርያት ካሚል (ሙስሊም)

ኬሪያ ኢብራሂም (ሙስሊም ፥ ለስለላ ነበር ወደ መቀሌ ተልካ የነበረችው)

አህመድ ሺዴ (ሙስሊም)

ጃዋር መሀመድ(ሙስሊም)(“የታሰረው” ለስልት ነው)

ፊልሳን አብዱላሂ (ሙስሊም)

ለማ መገርሳ (ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ታከለ ኡማ (ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ሽመልስ አብዲሳ (ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

በቀለ ገርባ(ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ህዝቄል ገቢሳ(ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ዳውድ ኢብሳ(ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

አምቦ አርጌ (ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ፀጋዬ አራርሳ(ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

አደነች አቤቤ(ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

መአዛ አሸናፊ (ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ሳህለወርቅ ዘውዴ (ኦሮማራመናፍቅ)

ብርቱካን ሚደቅሳ (ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ታዬ ደንደአ(ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ሌንጮ ባቲ (ዋቀፌታመናፍቅ)

ዳንኤል ክብረት (ኦሮማራአርዮስ)

ዘመድኩን በቀለ (ኦሮማራአርዮስ)

ኢሬቻ ጂኒ በላይ (ዋቀፌታአርዮስ)

አለማየሁ ገብረ ማርያም (ኦሮማራመናፍቅ)

ብርሀኑ ነጋ (ኦሮጉራጌመናፍቅ)

ገዱ አንዳርጋቸው (ኦሮማራመናፍቅ)

አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌ (ኦሮማራመናፍቅ)

አንዱዓለም አንዳርጌ (ኦሮማራመናፍቅ)

ታማኝ በየነ (ኦሮማራመናፍቅ)

አበበ ገላው (ኦሮማራመናፍቅ)

ወዘተ.

👉 እንግዲህ ፪x “ኢብራሂም”ን እስካነሳን ድረስ ታዋቂውና ታታሪው ግብጻዊ ኦርቶዶክስ ወንድማችን “ሬይሞንድ ኢብራሂም”(ግብጽ ክርስቲያኖች ስማቸውን ሳይቀር እንዲቀይሩ ስለተገደዱ ነው እንጂ ከእስልምና በፊት አብርሃም ነበር) ያካፈለንና በቪዲዮው የተነበበው ጽሁፍ እነሆ፦

👉“የሙስሊሞች አስገድዶ መድፈር እና ሆን ተብሎ ዓይነ ስውርነት”

Muslim Rape and Willful Blindness”

By Raymond Ibrahim

👉 እዚህ ይቀጥሉ / Continue reading…

The use of rape as a weapon of war is as old as warfare itself. In Bosnia in the 1990s, thousands of Muslim women were brutalised by Bosnian Serb forces, who set up “rape camps” as part of a policy of “ethnic cleansing”. In 2001, the UN’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal redefined mass rape as a crime against humanity. Yet there have been many similar atrocities since then, including in South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and Myanmar.

Now the world looks on – or rather, looks away – as it happens again. Today, in Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, large numbers of women and girls are again being subjected to “unimaginable” terror and suffering as a result of pervasive sexual violence. The word “unimaginable” is taken from a disturbing new report on Tigray by Parliament’s international development committee – a report largely ignored by the British government and media.

Reporting from Tigray last week, where fighting erupted in November after government-led forces invaded to topple the region’s breakaway leadership, the International Rescue Committee charity warned the crisis was especially affecting women. “Women are having to engage in sexually exploitative relationships, receiving small amounts of money, food and/or shelter to survive and feed their children,” an IRC spokesman said.

“Rape is being used as a weapon of war across the conflict. Multiple displaced people have given eyewitness accounts of mass rape. Women who are assaulted are in need of multiple levels of care, including emergency contraceptives, and drugs to prevent HIV in addition to psychological support. With 71% of hospital and medical facilities damaged and many looted, medical supplies are scarce,” the IRC said.

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, opened the way for this mass victimisation of women with his disastrous decision to attack. Once feted as a peacemaker, he will be remembered as the man who chose brute force to settle a political argument, in one of the world’s most fragile states, in the middle of a global pandemic.

After failing to secure the quick victory he predicted, Abiy has minimised the scale of the emergency. The latest UN assessment tells a different story: 4.5 million people in need of food and assistance, hundreds of thousands displaced, 67,000 refugees sheltering in Sudan, and humanitarian convoys blocked. Opposition parties say more than 50,000 people have died. Amnesty International last week decried a “ferocious tide” of rights violations including “numerous credible reports of women and girls being subjected to sexual violence, including gang rape, by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers”.

Save the Children also sounded the alarm. Thousands of children separated from their families were at daily risk of abuse while living in “unsafe and dire conditions” in informal camps, it said. “Many survivors are too scared to report sexual assault or seek treatment due to stigma and fear of reprisal”.

The worst crimes are often hidden from view, Doctors Without Borders said: “Many of Tigray’s six million people live in mountainous and rural areas where they are all but invisible to the outside world.” Malnutrition was on the rise, especially among children and pregnant women, it said.

The extent of the fighting is unclear, given the government’s internet blackout, reporting restrictions, and unreliable official information. Civilian casualties continue to mount, regional analysts say. Accumulating evidence suggests war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by all parties. But Abiy’s army, the Eritrean troops he secretly invited into Tigray, and Amhara militia are believed to be the main culprits.

His initial bullishness dispelled, Abiy now describes the war he began as “tiresome”, says some reports of atrocities are exaggerated or faked, and has promised investigations. He claims Eritrean soldiers are withdrawing. There’s no doubt opposition forces are also much to blame for continuing carnage and misery. But hopes Abiy will heed appeals to stop fighting and open peace talks were dashed last weekend when Ethiopia’s council of ministers formally designated Tigray’s leadership, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, as a terrorist organisation. The International Crisis Group warns guerrilla warfare could drag on for years.

Anyone expecting decisive international intervention is likely to be disappointed. The African Union has proved ineffective, the UN security council even more so. G7 foreign ministers, meeting in London last week, went out of their way to avoid upsetting Abiy’s government, which they persist in regarding as a strategic ally rather than a problematic actor.

“We condemn the killing of civilians, rape and sexual exploitation, and other forms of gender-based violence,” the G7 communique said. It backed an investigation process, called for a ceasefire and improved humanitarian access, and urged “a clear, inclusive political process in Tigray”.

But direct pressure on Abiy, such as the threat of sanctions and aid cuts, and concerted, collective action to find and prosecute those legally responsible for atrocities and mass rapes were wholly lacking. It was a feeble start for US president Joe Biden’s putative “alliance of democracies” and Boris Johnson’s idea of Britain as a global “force for good”.

Maintaining Ethiopia’s “unity and territorial integrity” appears to be the west’s main concern. Yet under Abiy’s divisive leadership, lethal clashes between the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups are escalating. Political violence affects several regions. A possible war with Egypt looms over Addis Ababa’s new Blue Nile dam. And on 5 June, ill-prepared, boycotted, and un-monitored national elections that Abiy vows to win could drive Ethiopians further apart.

Under Abiy, Ethiopia – once Africa’s big success story – is at growing risk of fracture and failure. The international community should call him personally to account before it’s too late.

Tigray’s abused, abandoned women cannot do it themselves. Unseen and unheard, they are drowning in a sea of tears.

Source

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#TigrayGenocide | Do African Lives Not Matter as Much as Those Experiencing Conflict in Other Countries?

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 18, 2021

🔥 “More Has To Be Done By The U S & Its Allies to Address Atrocities in Tigray

Transcript: Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield on “Face the Nation,” April 18, 2021

MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador, I really want to ask you about Tigray. You said this week to the UN Security Council, “Do African lives not matter as much as those experiencing conflict in other countries?” You were challenging them because of the systemic rape, the gang rapes that are being carried out against young girls in Tigray, in this conflict area in Ethiopia and Eritrea. This has been well-documented. It’s been called ethnic cleansing by the United States. Why haven’t we heard from President Biden and Vice President Harris about this concern? What is the US doing?

AMB. THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Well, I think you have heard from President Biden because you’ve heard from me and you’ve heard from Secretary Blinken. President Biden has engaged with the Ethiopian government. Secretary Blinken has engaged with the Ethiopian government. President Biden sent a presidential emissary, Senator Coons, to have discussions with the Ethiopian government and lay out our concerns about the horrific situation in Tigray. And as the U.S. representative on the Security Council, I thought it was important that the Security Council’s voice also be added to the voices of concern about the situation there. We have seen these descriptions–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, you are clearly saying what’s being done is not enough.

AMB. THOMAS-GREENFIELD: It is not enough, and that’s why I raised it in the Security Council, because I think we have to make sure that the victims hear our voices, but also the perpetrators know that we are concerned and that we’re watching this situation like we’re looking and- and addressing situations elsewhere in the world. So, yes, I agree with you. More has to be done. And that was the purpose of my raising this issue.

Source

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Posted in Curiosity, Ethiopia, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Leave No Tigrayan’ | in Ethiopia an Entire Ethnicity is Erased

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 7, 2021

👉 ትግራዋይን ጨርሷቸው አትተዋቸው! | በኢትዮጵያ መላው የትግራይ ጎሳ እየተደመሰሰ ነው

💭 “Their aim is to leave no Tigrayan,” she said. “I hope there will be a Tigray for my children to go home to.”

💭 “They told me, ‘Go home, you’re Tigrayan,’” she said. “We Tigrayans are Ethiopian. Why do they treat us as non-Ethiopian?”

💭 “They accidentally killed an ethnic Oromo in a Tigrayan household,” she said. “When they realized their ‘mistake,’ they came and buried him.”

💭“ዓላማቸው የትግራይን ተወላጅ አለመተው ነው። ልጆቼ ወደ ቤታቸው የሚሄዱበት ትግራይ ይኖራል ብዬ ተስፋ አደርጋለሁ።”

💭ወደ ቤትህ ሂድ አንተ ትግራዋይ ነህ” ብለውኛል። “እኛ የትግራይ ተወላጆች ኢትዮጵያዊ ነን። ለምን እኛ እንደ ኢትዮጵያዊ ያልሆነን አድርገው ይቆጥሩናል? ”

💭በትግራይ ተወላጆች ቤት ውስጥ የሚኖር አንድ ብሄር ኦሮሞ ገበአጋጣሚ ድለዋል፡፡ “ስህተታቸውን” ሲገነዘቡ መጥተው ቀበሩት።”

🔥 ዋውው! አይ አማራ! አይ ጋላ! አይ ጋላማራ! የዋቄዮ-አላህ-አቴቴ ባርያ! አዬዬዬ! ግድየለም! ንስሐ ብትገቡና ብትመለሱ ብልን እስከ ጌታችን ስቅለት ድረስ እየጠብቅኳችሁ ነው! ከዚያ እናንተን እና ዘር ማንዘራችሁን አያድርገን፤ የሚመጣውን ታዩታላችሁ! ወዮላችሁ! ወዮላችሁ!

🔥 ትግራይ ወገኖቼ ግን ኢትዮጵያዊነትንም ተዋሕዶ ክርስትናንም ከአማራና ጋሎች ንጠቋቸው፣ ሁለተኛም አታስጠጓቸው! ለእነዚህ አረመኔዎች ብቸኛው መድኃኒት ይህ ነው የሚሆነው!

The atrocities have been seared into the skin and the minds of Tigrayans, who take shelter by the thousands within sight of the homeland they fled in northern Ethiopia.

They arrive in heat that soars above 38 C (100 F), carrying the pain of gunshot wounds, torn vaginas, welts on beaten backs. Less visible are the horrors that jolt them awake at night: Memories of dozens of bodies strewn on riverbanks. Fighters raping a woman one by one for speaking her own language. A child, weakened by hunger, left behind.

Now, for the first time, they also bring proof of an official attempt at what is being called ethnic cleansing in the form of a new identity card that eliminates all traces of Tigray, as confirmed to The Associated Press by nine refugees from different communities. Written in a language not their own, issued by authorities from another ethnic group, the ID cards are the latest evidence of a systematic drive by the Ethiopian government and its allies to destroy the Tigrayan people.

The Amhara authorities now in charge of the nearby city of Humera took Seid Mussa Omar’s original ID card displaying his Tigrayan identity and burned it, the soft-spoken nurse said. On his new card examined by the AP, issued in January with the Amharic language, an Amhara stamp and a border of tiny hearts, even the word Tigray had vanished.

“I kept it to show the world,” Seid said. He added that only 10 Tigrayans remained of the roughly 400 who worked at the hospital where he had been employed, the rest killed or fleeing. “This is genocide … Their aim is to erase Tigray.”

What started as a political dispute in one of Africa’s most powerful and populous countries has turned into a campaign of ethnic cleansing against minority Tigrayans, according to AP interviews with 30 refugees in Sudan and dozens more by phone, along with international experts. The Ethiopian government of Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed is accused of teaming up with his ethnic group — his mother was Amhara — and soldiers from neighboring Eritrea to punish around 6 million people. Witnesses say they have split much of Tigray between them, with the Amhara in the west and Eritrean forces in the east.

Ethiopia claims that life in Tigray is returning to normal, and Abiy has called the conflict “tiresome.” But the refugees the AP spoke with, including some who arrived just hours before, said abuses were still occurring. Almost all described killings, often of multiple people, rapes and the looting and burning of crops that without massive food aid could tip the region into starvation.

For months, the people of Tigray have been largely sealed off from the world, with electricity and telecommunication access severed and mobile phones often seized, leaving little to back up their claims of thousands, even tens of thousands, killed. That has begun to change.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken asserted last month that “ethnic cleansing” has taken place in western Tigray, marking the first time a top official in the international community has openly described the situation as such. The term refers to forcing a population from a region through expulsions and other violence, often including killings and rapes.

Refugees told the AP that Amhara authorities and allied forces in western Tigray have taken over whole communities, ordering Tigrayans out or rounding them up. A refugee from Humera, Goitom Hagos, said he saw thousands of Tigrayans loaded into trucks and doesn’t know what happened to them.

The Amhara now control some government offices in western Tigray and decide who belongs — and even whether Tigrayans exist at all. Some were ordered to accept the Amhara identity or leave, and others were told to leave anyway, the refugees said.

Lemlem Gebrehiwet was forced to flee while heavily pregnant and gave birth three days after reaching Sudan. She recalled the new authorities telling her, “This is Amhara.”

Shy, her baby girl waiting, she struggled to comprehend. “Maybe we did something wrong.”

Seid, the nurse, fled Humera early in the conflict after his hospital came under heavy shelling, with the wounded carried in screaming and colleagues killed. He returned in January in the hope that conditions had improved, as Abiy’s government promised.

They hadn’t. His home had been looted, and the remaining Tigrayans had shrunk to a quiet population of the elderly, women and children who were discouraged from speaking their own language, Tigrinya.

At the hospital, Tigrayans had to pay for care, unlike the Amhara. Anyone who came was allowed to speak Amharic only. Tigrayan staffers weren’t paid, and every night there was gunfire.

Ten days after returning to the hospital, Seid left for Sudan. Now, at this dusty post, refugees pass blazing days sprawled on plastic mats under shelters of woven straw. They stay perilously close to the border in the hope that missing loved ones will emerge from Tigray.

“The federal government is trying to be king. We Tigrayans refuse,” said one refugee, Nega Chekole.

In response to allegations that the Amhara are ordering Tigrayans to leave and issuing new ID cards, the spokeswoman for the prime minister’s office, Billene Seyoum, said the area is under a provisional administration “who are all from the region.”

The Ethiopian government says it rejects “any and all notions and practices of ethnic cleansing” and will never tolerate such practices, “nor will it turn a blind eye to such crimes.” However, almost everyone the AP interviewed said they had watched fellow Tigrayans being killed or seen bodies on the ground.

In her town of more than a dozen ethnic groups, Belaynesh Beyene was dealt a ghastly lesson in just how little Tigrayans suddenly were worth.

In the early days of the fighting, she said she saw 24 bodies in the streets of Dansha in western Tigray. The 58-year-old grandmother and other residents were prevented from burying them by the Amhara youth militia, a practice that witnesses across Tigray have reported as an added insult to grief. The practice applies only to Tigrayan corpses.

“They accidentally killed an ethnic Oromo in a Tigrayan household,” she said. “When they realized their ‘mistake,’ they came and buried him.”

A spokesman for the Amhara regional government, Gizachew Muluneh, didn’t answer questions from the AP. The Amhara have said they are taking back land they claim belongs to them.

Soldiers from Eritrea, long an enemy of Tigray’s now-fugitive leaders, have also been blamed for some of the worst human rights abuses. Under pressure, Abiy said last month the soldiers will leave, after long denying their presence.

Hiwot Hadush, a teacher from Zalambessa, said scores of people were killed after the Eritreans went house to house, opening fire.

“Even if someone was dead, they shot them again, dozens of times. I saw this,” she said. “I saw many bodies, even priests. They killed all Tigrayans.”

In another border community, Irob, furniture maker Awalom Mebrahtom described hiding and watching Eritrean soldiers order 18 Tigrayans, mostly young men like him, to lie in a remote field. They were shot to death.

The killings continue. In early March, after months on the run, 30-year-old Alem Mebrahtu attempted a desperate crossing of the Tekeze river. Separated from her three small children in the early chaos of the conflict, she had heard they were in Sudan.

Sympathetic women from the Wolkait ethnic group pleaded with Eritrean soldiers near the river to let Alem cross, while urging her to pretend to be Wolkait, too. It worked, but she saw a grim reminder of what could have happened if she had failed.

Bodies lay scattered near the riverbank, she said. She estimated around 50 corpses.

“Some were face-down. Some were looking up at the sky,” she said.

Exhaustion still pressed deep under her eyes, Alem started to cry. There by the river, confronted with death, tears hadn’t been allowed. The Eritrean soldiers beat people for expressing grief, she said.

Samrawit Weldegerima, who had arrived just two weeks earlier in Hamdayet, also saw corpses by the river, counting seven. Freshly branded on their temples were the markings some Tigrayans have to express their identity, she said.

“When I saw them, I was terrified,” Samrawit said, touching her belly, six months pregnant. “I thought I was already dead.”

Those who crossed the river were amazed to find that the Amhara were now in charge in western Tigray. Alem’s home in Humera was occupied by Amhara militia. She asked them for her clothes, but they had been burned. She was told to get out.

Reluctantly, to protect herself, she is trying to learn Amharic.

“Their aim is to leave no Tigrayan,” she said. “I hope there will be a Tigray for my children to go home to.”

The idea of home remains dangerous. Days after Abiy urged people in Tigray to return in late March, at least two men trying to do so from Hamdayet were fatally shot within sight of the border crossing.

They were buried by hundreds of refugees at the Orthodox church in Hamdayet, where the blank walls are being mapped for murals of sacrifice and salvation. Some of the faithful drop to their knees and clutch the stones, deep in prayer. Others rest their foreheads against the entrance, as if they can’t go on.

Even as the Amhara fighters took turns raping her, they offered the young woman a twisted path to what they considered redemption.

She had returned to her looted home in Humera. There, she was seized by militia members speaking Amharic. When she asked them to speak her native Tigrinya, which she understood far better, they became angry and started kicking her.

She fell, and they fell upon her. She remembers at least three men.

“Let the Tigray government come and help you,” she recalled them saying.

They also made her a proposal: “Claim to be Amhara and we’ll give you back your house and find you a husband. But if you claim to be Tigrayan, we will come and rape you again.”

The woman’s Amhara neighbor was present during the attack. When she later approached him for help, there was none.

“So what?” she recalled him saying. “You came back. Behave and be quiet.”

The woman cried all night. The next day, she found little comfort in learning that many others in her neighborhood had been raped, too.

“One mother and daughter had been forced to watch each other,” she said. “One woman was raped on the road, with people watching. Other accounts were worse than mine.”

She left for Sudan. It was mid-February. Afraid to speak with anyone, she waited almost a month before seeking medical care.

“I was ashamed,” she said, and started to cry. She watched the doorway warily, fearing the rumors that can spread among the refugees.

She said she was grateful to be HIV-negative, but she is pregnant. For a long moment, she was silent. She can hardly think about that yet. Her family back home doesn’t know.

The United Nations has said more than 500 rapes in Tigray have been reported to health care workers. But the woman from Humera, whose account was confirmed by her doctor, assumes many more survivors are hiding it just as she did. The AP doesn’t name people who have been sexually abused.

Several refugees from different Tigray communities told the AP they watched or listened helplessly as women were taken away by Amhara or Eritrean fighters and raped. It was like taunting, said Adhanom Gebrehanis from Korarit village, who had just arrived in Hamdayet with the welts from a beating by Eritrean soldiers on his back.

“They do these things openly to make us ashamed,” he said.

He described watching Eritreans pull aside 20 women from a group of Tigrayans and rape them. The next day, 13 of the women were returned.

Go,” Adhanom said the Eritreans told the others. “We already have what we want.”

A midwife from Adwa, Elsa Tesfa Berhe, described treating women secretly after Eritrean soldiers swept through health centers, looting even the beds and telling patients to leave. As Berhe snuck out to deliver babies and care for the wounded, she saw people trying to bury bodies at the risk of being shot, or pouring alcohol on corpses in an attempt to hide the smell.

With the health centers destroyed, little if any care remains for women and girls who have been raped. No one knows how many now carry the children of their attackers.

Berhe had just arrived in Sudan. She cried as she recalled a 60-year-old woman who was raped vaginally and anally by Eritrean soldiers and then waited for days, trying to hide the bleeding, before seeking help.

“She didn’t want to tell anyone,” Berhe said. She heard the woman ask, “Can anyone trust me if I say I was raped?”

Another woman was raped by four Eritrean soldiers while her husband hid under the bed, Berhe said. Her husband recounted the attack when they sought an abortion.

A third woman described how Eritrean soldiers ordered her father to rape her, then shot and killed him when he refused. The soldiers raped her instead.

Berhe fears that the situation in rural areas is even worse, as described by the displaced people arriving in cities. So far, few from the outside world can reach the areas where the majority of Tigrayans lived before the conflict, as fighting continues.

“Do you think there is a word to explain this? There is no word,” said a midwife from Humera, who gave only her first name, Mulu.

In Hamdayet she befriended seven women from the same village, Mai Gaba, who said they were raped separately by various fighters, including Ethiopian federal forces. Mulu fears that Mai Gaba is a conservative example and estimates that some communities have seen scores of assaults.

“This is to harm the community psychologically,” Mulu said. “Most of the people in Tigray support the (fugitive Tigray leaders). To destroy them, you must destroy Tigrayans.”

There is more to come.

Almost every person interviewed described a worrying shortage of food, and some said Tigrayans are being starved. Many recalled seeing crops being looted or burned in communities by Amhara or Eritrean fighters, a toll that even shows up in satellite imagery.

Kidu Gebregirgis, a farmer, said he was questioned almost daily about his ethnicity, his shirt yanked aside to check for marks from the strap of a gun. He said the Amhara harvested around 5,000 kilograms (5.5 short tons) of sorghum from his fields and hauled it away, a task that took two weeks. He shook his head in amazement.

The conflict began shortly before the harvest in the largely agricultural region. Now the planting season approaches.

“But there is no seed,” Kidu said. “There’s nothing to start again.”

The prospect is terrifying, said Alex de Waal, the author of a new report warning of mass starvation in Tigray and a researcher at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

“What I fear is that millions of people are in the rural areas, staying because they are hopeful they will be able to plant,” he said. “If they’re not able to plant, if food supplies run out, then all of a sudden we could see a mass migration.”

Tigrayans who passed through rural communities described starving people, often elderly, begging outside churches. Sometimes they did, too.

Alem, the exhausted mother, begged for money and tightened her clothes to control the hunger pangs. Abedom, a day laborer who only gave one name, begged while roaming the mountains and villages for three months.

“It was normal to go a whole day without food,” he said. “So many people were hungry. They loot everything, so if they take it all, how do I survive?”

The hunger was staggering. One refugee saw a man faint on the road in Adi Asr, close to death. Another described a fellow traveler so tired he simply stopped walking. Yet another saw a child, too weak to go on, left behind.

Again, ethnicity was crucial. Belaynesh, from Dansha, said she made sure to speak Amharic when approaching farmhouses in western Tigray for food.

Ethiopia, under international pressure, has said food aid has been distributed to more than 4 million people in Tigray. Refugees disagreed, saying they saw no such thing in their communities or asserting that food was being diverted.

Maza Girmay, 65, said she heard food was being distributed, so she went to the government office in her community of Bahkar to inquire.

“They told me, ‘Go home, you’re Tigrayan,’” she said. “We Tigrayans are Ethiopian. Why do they treat us as non-Ethiopian?”

The rejection brought her to tears. An Orthodox cross tattooed on her forehead, long faded from childhood, wrinkled with her sorrow.

In the community of Division, farmer Berhane Gebrewahid said he was shot by Amhara fighters seeking his cattle. He said food aid was distributed in February by Amhara authorities but refused to Tigrayans, including him. Even the name of his homeland had been changed to Northern Gondar, after a major city in Amhara.

A colonel with the Tigray fighters, Bahre Tebeje, worried that starvation will kill more people than the war itself.

“Most food aid returns to the Amhara and Eritreans,” he asserted, leaning forward intently, a tattered black-and-white kaffiyeh around his neck. “It’s not being distributed to the people.”

Severe malnutrition is already above emergency levels as humanitarian workers rush to reach communities, the U.N. has said. In Hamdayet, a handful of such cases were recently sent to a regional hospital for treatment, according to a doctor there. One woman, recovering, still couldn’t produce milk for her baby, who whimpered and sucked at a limp breast.

Battered and hungry, Tigrayans still arrive daily at the border post where Sudanese soldiers watch a no man’s land in the shadow of a fading flag. One recent evening, the AP saw three new refugees approaching.

In Sudan, the Tigrayans are registered and asked for their ethnicity. For once, they are free to answer.

Source

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ethiopia: Hunger + Pandemic + Sex ‘Used as Weapons of War’ in #TigrayGenocide

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 6, 2021

As the war in Ethiopia enters its fifth month, millions of displaced people in the northern region of Tigray are now facing a further crisis – hunger.

Violence has interrupted the main food supply routes and farms have been destroyed.

Many have lost their income and prices have increased for the little food still available to buy.

Pressure is now mounting on the country’s Nobel peace prize-winning Prime Minister to supply aid to the starving.

🔥 Tigray Is Being Deliberately Starved to Death – Starvation is Being Used as a Weapon of War – Relentlessly & Systematically.

Millions of people in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region are facing starvation. Until now, it’s been a crisis without pictures. Those wrenching images of emaciated children and mothers with dull-eyed gazes, so sadly familiar from famine zones, have yet to emerge. But that’s because journalists aren’t permitted to travel to the worst-hit areas of Tigray, where hunger is deepening by the day. When the media can finally get access, or when starving villagers abandon their homes and flee to towns, the pictures will surely remind viewers of drought victims from Ethiopia’s 1984 famine, which prompted the famous LiveAid benefit concert and a vast outpouring of charity.

Now, though, there is no drought and no harvest failure. Tigrayans are hungry today because starvation is being used as a weapon of war—relentlessly and systematically. ..

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Posted in Ethiopia, Health, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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