At least 108 rapes have been recorded in Ethiopia’s restive northern Tigray regional state, the governmental Ethiopia Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said on Thursday.
In a press statement, the EHRC confirmed in the past two months alone, 108 cases of rapes have been reported in hospitals located in three cities in the Tigray region.
“In the past two months alone, 108 cases of rape have been reported in Mekelle Ayder, Adigrat and Wukro city hospitals,” the EHRC report disclosed.
The EHRC also disclosed it has found 16 children being treated for trauma sustained as a result of the conflict in the Mekelle Ayder general hospital.
“Medical professionals confirmed one of the main reasons for injuries to children in particular are “land mines and hand grenades left lying on the ground” the EHRC report stated.
The Commission released its report based on its monitoring and investigation mission in the region, which took place from January 10 to January 23, 2021.
The EHRC talked to military and civilian leadership, as well as residents, health sector workers, affected persons and Internally Displaced Persons for the report.
Last month, The Ethiopia Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Ethiopia Ministry of Women, Children and Youth (MoWCY) on Sunday formed a joint taskforce to investigate gender-based violence in the Tigray region.
The joint taskforce is expected to send a fact-finding mission soon to investigate and ascertain facts on the ground, especially regarding reports of gender-based violence in the war-torn Tigray regional state.
Allegations of violence against women including rapes in the ongoing war in Tigray regional state have caused widespread local and international concern.
The Ethiopian government has recently pledged to investigate and bring to justice any security forces found to have committed sexual violence in Tigray regional state.
Months of fighting in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which used to rule the Tigray regional state until last November, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces has reportedly left thousands of people dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Enditem