Tigrayan civil societies urged action amid escalating gender based violence.

Mekelle፡4 June 2024 (Tigray Herald)
#Tigray: Tigrayan civil societies urged action amid escalating gender based violence.

Tigrayan CSOs have raised alarm over the increasing cases of abductions, disappearances, sexual violence, and death of women and girls in the Tigray.

Urgent Appeal to: Tigray Interim Regional Administration, Mekelle, Tigray

Subject: Abduction, Missing, Rape and Death of Women

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, write this letter to expressgraveconcern and to demand urgent action regarding the escalating incidents of abductions,missing persons, rape and deaths of women and girls in Tigray. These heinous actscontinue to devastate the lives of countless individuals, predominantly women and girls,compounding their suffering and impeding the region’s path to recovery and peace.The atrocities committed during and after the recent war on Tigray constitute grossviolations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Despite the cessation of

active hostilities, these incidents persist, highlighting the persistent insecurity and lack of

accountability in the region.

Detailed Incidents:

Betelihem Gebremichael: A 10th grade studentKallamino Special High Schoolwent missing fordays and was found dead in a lake near Debri, Hadnet Subcity,Mekelle, Tigray. The cause of her death remains unknown.

Mahlet Teklay: A 16-year-old girl was abductedunknown individuals in Adwa,Tigray, while on her way to language classes. Her parents have been asked for aransom of millions of birr for her return. She has been missing for over seventy days.

Social Media Reports: Numerous reports of abductions and missing womencirculate on social media, with families and friends sharing images and contactinformation in hopes of locating their loved ones. This trend is increasingly worrying assuch abductions are becoming recurrent.

It is toremembered that on August 19, 2023, Zewdu Haftu was murdered in Mekelleby unknown assailants. Advocates demand justice for Zewdu and accountabilitytheperpetrators, regardless of their affiliations. The interim government and its securityforces must be held accountablefailinguphold the rule of law. Members of tpolice forces investigating her case wrote a letter to the regional police commission onMay 21, describing their concerns about threats and misconduct directedthem. Thisincident underscores the urgent need for action and accountability from the InterimRegional Administration and international actors.

We call upon the Interim AdministrationTigray, the Ethiopian government, and theInternational Community to take the following immediate actions:

Justice and Accountability: Conduct thorough, transparent, and independentinvestigations into all allegationsabductions, gender-based violence, and murders.Ensure that perpetrators, regardless of their affiliation, are held accountable through fairaand impartial judicial processes.

Security and Protection: Enhance security measures to protect vulnerablepopulations, particularly women and children, from further violence. This includesdeploying peacekeeping forces, improving local policing, and establishing safe zonesfor those at risk.

Support for Survivors: Provide comprehensive medical, psychological, and legalsupport for survivorsthese heinous crimes. This includes accesshealthcareservices, trauma counseling, and legal aid to help them rebuild their lives and pursuejustice.

International Involvement: Request increased monitoring and reporting on humanrights violations in Tigray by the international community, including the United Nations,African Union, and other human rights advocacy organizations, such as AmnestyInternational and Human Rights Watch. Their involvement is crucial to ensuringadherence to international law.

Reparations and Redress: Develop and implement a reparations program forvictims that acknowledges their suffering and provides tangible support for theirrecovery and reintegrationsociety.

We stand in solidarity with the survivors and all those affected by the ongoing violencein Tigray. Their voices and stories must be heard and addressed. Ensuring justice andprotection for these individuals is essential for fostering lasting peace in Tigray.

We trust that you will take these demands seriously and act with the urgency that this.crisis requires. The undersigned civil society organizations are committed to supportingaefforts to end gender-based violence and ensure justice for all victims.

June 3, 2024


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