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Weaponized Rape by Tigrayan paramilitary forces and militias in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region

AAA documented incidents of (gang) rape committed by TPLF forces against at least 930 Amhara women & 86 children in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region


Originally published on March 17th, 2022


Background


The Amhara Association of America (AAA) deployed its human rights team to investigate human rights abuses in the North Wollo Zone of Ethiopia’s Amhara Region as a result of the genocidal invasion from forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). While atrocities against Amhara civilians have been reported since the outbreak of the war in November 2020, they worsened following the unilateral withdrawal in late June 2021 and subsequent invasion and occupation of districts in Amhara and Afar Regions by TPLF forces. Over the course of several months and until this day, the many belligerents of the war including TPLF and its allies which include the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and Sudanese forces have targeted Amhara civilians, and have faced resistance by allied Ethiopian forces including Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), Amhara regional forces [includes Amhara Special Forces (ASF), Amhara Popular Force (APF), Amhara militias, and Fano (an Amharic term for volunteer militias)], Afar regional forces and local volunteers.



Executive Summary


The Amhara Association of America (AAA) verified from survivors of (gang) rape, officials, medical doctors, and eyewitnesses that Tigrayan soldiers and militia forces allied to the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) committed (gang) rape against at least 930 women and girls and of these 86 were children across the North Wollo, South Wollo, Wag Herma, North Gonder, South Gonder, North Shewa and Oromia Special Zones in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Officials and healthcare workers at both the regional and woreda (district) levels have told AAA the number of rape cases has been increasing daily. Most of the gang rape incidents were also accompanied by sadistic acts, physical abuse/torture, and verbal abuse/dehumanization including regular use of ethnic slurs and humiliation which inflicted irreparable physical and psychological trauma on survivors. And at least four women have died as a result of the gang rape incidents. In two incidents from Lalibela and Dawint, rape victims were killed with gunshots and stabbed to death with knives, respectively, after the gang rape by the TPLF militias.




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