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Civil Society groups demand action on gender-based violence in Tigray, blame gov’t 

Civil Society groups in Tigray call for action against Gender-Based Violence (Photo: Million Hailesilassie/DW)

Addis Abeba – Twenty seven civil society organizations based in the Tigray region are calling for urgent action from regional authorities to address the escalating issue of gender-based violence against women.

In a joint statement, the groups condemned the violence, kidnappings, and killings targeting women across the region, and expressed concern about the lack of transparency and accountability within existing procedures.

DW reported citing a Mekelle City Police report that 12 women were murdered, 80 raped, 10 kidnapped, and 178 faced attempted murder in just the past eleven months.

The groups criticized the Tigray interim administration’s security and justice institutions for failing to prevent these crimes and ensure that perpetrators are held responsible.

Selamawit Giday, head of the Rise and Shine Women’s Protection Center, one of the 27  groups, highlighted the devastating societal impact of this violence, and urged the Tigray Regional Administration to ensure that its security and justice institutions enforce the law with integrity, impartiality, and accountability.

This comes in the backdrop of large demonstrations held in Mekelle on 25 June 2024, where women gathered at the city’s Romanat Square demanding an end to the violence and justice for victims. 

Hadush Tesfa, head of the regional justice bureau, had assured the demonstrators the regional government’s commitment to addressing the issue, emphasizing ongoing efforts to maintain law and order and bring perpetrators to justice.

According to a report by Refugees International, cited by Addis Standard in April 2023, an estimated 40-50% of Tigrayan girls and women experienced gender-based violence during the war. The report revealed a harrowing reality of over 80% of these victims reported being raped, with nearly 70% experiencing brutal gang rape by armed groups. 

The civil society organizations emphasized that these crimes continued despite the ceasefire agreement and are hindering Tigray’s path to stability. AS

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