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TPLF militants have reportedly raped 71 women in Nefas Meewcha

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Eritrea: Editorial SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2021 Minister of Information

TPLF militants have reportedly raped 71 women in Nefas Meewcha

Amnesty International accuses fighters of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front of raping women in Amhara

Amnesty International condemned on Wednesday that fighters from the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia raped and beat women in the neighboring Amhara region last August. The organization published a report that collected testimonies from 16 women who said they had been abused by fighters from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

According to the report, TPLF militants carried out various attacks in the town of Nefas Meewcha in the South Gondar Zone of Amhara State from August 6 to 15, 2013.

Among the crimes committed by the militants were gang rape, destruction of property, robbery, and obscene insults against innocent people, the organization said in a report.

Tigrayan rebels raped, robbed and beat several women during an attack on a town in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, Amnesty International has found, amid mounting evidence of brutal violence committed during the year-long conflict.

According to an investigation released on Wednesday by the human rights watchdog, 14 of the 16 women interviewed from the town of Nefas Meewcha said they had been gang-raped in August, during an offensive by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Read More Israel to Return Ethiopian Immigrants Who Committed War Crimes

One of the women interviewed by Amnesty International about the gang rape was Gebeyanesh, a resident of the town.

“It’s not easy to tell what happened to me. My eldest son is 10 and the youngest is 9 years old. Both of them were crying when they saw me being raped by the soldiers. They threatened to kill me, ”she said.

The other one is 28-year-old Hamelmal, who was raped by TPLF militants and she lives by selling bread.

“I have children, 10-year and 2-year-olds. I was afraid the soldiers would kill my children. I told them not to kill my children. Do what you want me to do. The little one was asleep. But the older one was watching when I been raped.

The victims reported being insulted and referred to using degrading ethnic slurs.

Meskerem, 30, who belongs to the Amhara Semitic-speaking ethnic group, told Amnesty International that three TPLF fighters raped her and beat her with the butts of their guns.

“They were insulting me, calling me ‘donkey Amhara, you are strong, you can carry much more than this.’ I was unconscious for more than an hour,” she said.

The militants had destroyed medical facilities and denied access to medical treatment, especially for women who had been raped.

Read More UN Security Council Voicing Support for African Union’s Peace Efforts in Ethiopia

Of the 16 women interviewed by the organization, 14 reported being gang-raped by TPLF militants.

Amnesty International said in a statement that a total of 71 women had been raped by the militants.

The number of women who have been sexually assaulted is likely to be much higher. According to a local government desk officer for Women, Children and Youth Affairs, 71 women reported having been raped by TPLF fighters during the period in question, while the Federal Ministry of Justice puts the number at 73.

“The information we have from the victims indicates that TPLF militants have committed war crimes in Nefas Meewcha,” said Agnes Callamard, the institute’s secretary general.

The militants continue to carry out attacks in the Amhara and Afar regions and have called for an end to the human rights abuses.

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