Ethiopia to investigate gender-based violence in restive northern region

Gender violence

The Ethiopia Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Ethiopia Ministry of Women, Children and Youth (MoWCY) have formed a joint taskforce to investigate gender-based violence in the east African country’s northern Tigray region.

The formation of the joint taskforce on Sunday to investigate gender-based violence was announced during a meeting between Ethiopia Minister of Women, Children and Youth, Filsan Abdullahi and officials from the Ethiopia Ministry of Defense.

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, reported state media outlet Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

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 Tigray between the ex-ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian Defense Forces have reportedly left thousands of people dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, and millions in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Ethiopia’s federal government has been undertaking military operations in the country’s northernmost Tigray regional state since November 4 against TPLF, which used to rule over the region, following the TPLF’s alleged attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Army.

The Ethiopian government has been blaming the TPLF, which was one of the four coalition fronts of Ethiopia’s former ruling party the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), for masterminding various treasonous acts across different parts of the country with an overarching goal of destabilizing the East African country.

Three of the former four EPRDF coalition members had in late 2019 joined other regional parties in establishing the Prosperity Party, as the TPLF refused to join.

The mounting differences between the federal government and TPLF exacerbated in September last year when the Tigray regional government decided to go with its planned regional elections, which the Ethiopian parliament had previously postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Ethiopian government figures the Tigray region conflict has resulted in the displacement of around 2.2 million people, while 4.5 million people in total are in need of emergency aid. Enditem

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