The United Nations, on Thursday, said that more than 500 rape cases have been reported to five clinics in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The UN also warned that the actual numbers might be much higher.
Wafaa Said, deputy U.N. aid coordinator in Ethiopia, said in a briefing to U.N. member states in New York said “”Women say they have been raped by armed actors, they also told stories of gang rape, rape in front of family members and men being forced to rape their own family members under the threat of violence.”
Shesaid that at least 516 rape cases had been reported by five medical facilities in Mekelle, Adigrat, Wukro, Shire and Axum.
Top U.N. officials called for a stop to indiscriminate and targeted attacks against civilians in Tigray, particularly calling out reports of rape and “other horrific forms of sexual violence.”
Fighting in Tigray broke out in November between government troops and the region’s former ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has also said troops from neighboring Eritrea were in the region, a Reuters report said.
The violence in Tigray has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes in the mountainous region of about 5 million, the Reuters report read.