By Faith Nyasuguta
Ethiopian troops and its allies have been linked to widespread sexual violence against women in Tigray, Amnesty International has said.
They are accused of using rape as a war strategy.
Following this, the human rights group indicates that the alarming amount of violations in the nine-month violence in Tigray add up to war crimes.
A woman is said to have reported that she was gang-raped right in the eyes of her children.
However, the Ethiopian government responded saying the fresh report was based on a “flawed methodology”.
The Ministry of foreign affairs thus accused the human rights group of waging “sensationalized attacks and smear campaigns” against the East African nation.
It further added that Ethiopia is a country that shuns sexual violence in all its forms and circumstances.
Despite that, Amnesty emphasized that it has “overwhelming evidence” to reveal that sexual violence has been common in the wake of the Tigray war.
The conflict was launched last November when the area’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) ambushed a military base after a misunderstanding with the prime minister over political reforms.
Amnesty confirmed that it interviewed some 63 women and children from Tigray who reported having been raped by pro-government fighters from Amhara, Ethiopian troops, and their allies from Eritrea.
“The patterns of sexual violence emerging from survivors’ accounts indicate that the violations have been part of a strategy to terrorize, degrade, and humiliate both the victims and their ethnic group,” the report said.
The author of the report, Donatella Rovera, indicated that the written testimonies were among the worst she had ever come across.
“The level of sadistic and gratuitous brutality in addition to the rape was absolutely shocking,” she said.