In Tigray and other regions of Ethiopia, women and girls are being systematically subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence with a level of cruelty beyond comprehension. Numerous reports describe cases of rape and gang rape on a daily basis since the beginning of the conflict in November 2020.
A particularly concerning aspect of the conflict has been the systematic destruction of health facilities and the pillaging of much-needed equipment and supplies. According to Human Rights Watch, by April 2021, “only 29 of the nearly 230 health centres in Tigray were fully functional, and that all of them urgently need more medical supplies, drugs, and equipment.” One humanitarian worker told Human Rights Watch, “It will take years to rebuild the healthcare system of Tigray, it’s really dependent on external support to do so.”
Since the conflict began, different actors have documented the significant negative impact that the destruction and looting of medical facilities and other institutions have had on the ability of CRSV survivors to access medical care and psychosocial support services.
These vital services should be made available as soon as possible to ensure CRSV survivors receive the urgent, often life-saving care that they desperately need.
We hope this truce to be an important first step leading to an end of hostilities and sustainable access and accountability across Ethiopia.