‘Practical genocide’: Doctors say rape is being used as a tool of war in Ethiopia

According to the medical records and testimonies of survivors shared with CNN, women are gangraped, drugged and held hostage. In one case, the woman’s vagina was filled with stones, nails and plastic, according to a video seen by CNN and the testimony of a doctor who treated her.

CNN has spoken to nine Ethiopian doctors and one in a Sudanese refugee camp who say they have seen a dramatic increase in cases of sexual assault and rape since Prime Minister Abiya Ahmed launched military action against leaders in Tigre, sending national troops and fighters. From our region of the country. Neighboring Eritrean forces are taking part in a military operation alongside the Ethiopian government, CNN reported earlier.

According to doctors, almost all women note similar stories of them being raped by Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers. The women said the soldiers are on a self-proclaimed mission of revenge and are working in the field with almost complete liberation.

Hamdayet’s CNN team spoke to several women who had fled fighting and been raped while fighting in the sleepy Sudanese city on the Ethiopian border, where thousands of refugees from the Tigris have gathered in recent months.

One woman said of her attacker, “He pushed me and said, ‘Tigris has no history, you have no culture. I can do what you want and no one cares.’ “One woman told CNN about her attacker. She told CNN she’s pregnant now.

Many say they were raped by Amhar forces, who told them they intended to morally cleanse the Tigers, a doctor working in a scattered refugee camp in Hamdayat told CNN.

“Women who have been raped say that when they were raped they said they needed to change their identities – either immobilize them or at least leave their Tigrinya status … And they said Dr. Tedros Tefera, come here to cleanse the blood line to cleanse them.

“Practically this has been a genocide,” he added.

The flood of refugees has been troubled since Ethiopian forces strengthened the border in recent days, worrying refugees who are still hoping to be reunited with family members.

The Ethiopian and Eritrean governments did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the allegations that their forces were conducting a coordinated campaign of sexual violence against women in Tigre.

Massacre in the mountains
Thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed in the conflict. CNN has previously reported that soldiers from neighboring Eritrea have carried out assassinations, assaults and human rights abuses in the Tigris region. Separate investigations by CNN and Amnesty International in February uncovered evidence of genocide committed by the Eritrean army in Denglat and Exim. The Eritrean government has denied involvement in the atrocities.

There have been new reports of sexual violence when U.S. President J. Biden sent Senator Chris Kuns to meet with Biden Abby and deliver a message to the U.S. “Concerns about the humanitarian crisis and human rights violations in the Tigris region.” The State Department has previously called for an independent inquiry into atrocities committed during the war.

The Ethiopian government has recently imposed severe restrictions on severe access to journalists, making it challenging to verify the accounts of survivors. And the war has been effectively blocked from the eyes of the world due to intermittent communication during the fight. But in recent weeks, with foreign journalists allowed, horrific stories of rape and sexual violence have begun to emerge.

On Thursday, CNN-affiliated Channel 4 News published a disturbing report on sexual violence against women in Tigre. The report included interviews at the Safe House – believed to be the only one working for Tigre for rape survivors – where about 40 women were also injured to return to their families and are receiving shelter and support.

“… they have come to cleanse them … to cleanse the line of blood.”

Dr. of Tedros Tefera

One of the survivors told Channel News News that she and five other women had been gang-raped by Eritrean soldiers who joked and took photos throughout the attack. She said she knew they were the Eritrean army because of their dialect and uniform. He said he was able to return home only to be raped again. When she tried to escape, she remembered being caught, injected with drugs, tied up with a stone, stripped, stabbed and raped by soldiers for 10 days.

Outside the safe house, more women and girls are being treated at Eider Referral Hospital, the main medical facility in the regional capital, Macaulay. Most have been referred by rural hospitals that are not equipped to handle rape cases, Channel News News reported.

A doctor at H Hospital Spital told CNN that more than 200 women have been admitted for sexual violence in recent months, but many more cases have been reported in rural villages and internally displaced persons, with no limit on medical care.

A report released on Thursday by the international medical humanitarian organization Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the fighting in Tigris, which included attacks on health care facilities, was severely limited by medical treatment. Of the 106 medical facilities visited by MSF in the area, barely one in 10 is still operational, and one in five was occupied or occupied by armed forces. One facility was used as an army base, the MSFA said.

Amid a lack of access to medical services and stigma surrounding sexual violence, doctors told CNN that they suspect the true number of rapes is much higher than official reports.

On February 10, the state-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) acknowledged that the regional administration’s war in Tigre and the associated disintegration had “led to an increase in gender-based violence in the region.”
One month later, on March 4, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called for an “objective, independent assessment” of the land situation in Tigre.
UN rights chief says war crimes have been committed in Ethiopia since CNN revealed the Tigre massacre
Between December and January, more than 136 cases of rape were reported in hospitals in the eastern region of McLelly, Eider, Adigrate and Vukro, according to a UN statement.

A coordinator of the Gender-Based Violence Crisis Center in Tigre told CNN that they hear cases every few days or once a week. Since the conflict broke out, as many as 22 women and girls have been treated for rape every day.

Demand for emergency contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections has also increased in recent months. Many women who have been raped have contracted sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, doctors told CNN.

One doctor said many of her women also suffered physical abuse, including broken bones and injuries to body parts. He said the youngest girl was treated at 8 years old, while the eldest was 60 years old.

Doctor Cutter said many women who come forward share the stories of others who are not mothers-sisters, friends and other acquaintances.

A spokesman for the UN Human Rights Office told CNN that they would conduct a joint investigation with the EHRC into allegations of serious human rights violations in Tigre.

CNN Nima Elbagir and Barbara Arvanitidis report from Hamdayat. Eliza McKintosh writes and reports from London. Bethlehem Felek reports from Nairobi. Report by Gianluca Mesophyre and Katie Poglez from London.