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News: In wake of 16 Days of Activism Amnesty calls for justice, accountability for Ethiopia’s survivors of sexual violence


Selam (name changed) holds a message in Tigrinya during an exercise at the safe house. Her note says, in English, “relief”. © UNFPA Ethiopia/Paula Seijo/May 2021

Addis Abeba – On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Amnesty International reiterated its call to mediators in the ongoing peace process on Ethiopia to prioritize justice for survivors, including survivors of sexual violence in the two-year conflict.

“The African Union must urgently pressure the Ethiopian government to fully cooperate with both regional and international investigative mechanisms on human rights to ensure justice for victims and survivors of violations — especially sexual violence,” said Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes Region.

“The Ethiopian authorities must urgently allow unfettered access to the International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia (ICHREE) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights to enable investigations to take place, and ultimately to ensure those responsible for atrocities in Ethiopia’s two-year conflict face justice.”

On 2 November 2022, Amnesty International launched a campaign which highlights the atrocities committed by all sides to the conflict. It also called on the international community to stand in solidarity with survivors and victims of sexual violence during the conflict.

16 Days of Activism

On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Amnesty International said it will also hold an exhibition in Nairobi at the Baraza Media Lab, in which a documentary film will highlight the demands for justice by survivors of sexual violence during the conflict in Ethiopia.

The exhibition will also be showcased in London on 28 and 29 November 2022, during the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) Conference.

Background 

On 2 November 2022, the Government of Ethiopia, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a peace agreement. “The accord, however, fails to offer a clear roadmap on how to ensure accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and overlooks rampant impunity in the country, which could lead to violations being repeated,” Amnesty said.

All parties to the armed conflict in Ethiopia, which pits forces aligned with Ethiopia’s federal government, including the Eritrean army, against those affiliated with Tigray’s regional government led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), have committed serious human rights violations and abuses, including extrajudicial executions, summary killings and sexual violence against women and girls, Amnesty further said. “Abuses documented by Amnesty International in the conflict include war crimes and crimes against humanity.” AS






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