Ethiopia blocking help for rape victims – report

A new report by the Human Rights Watch has accused the Ethiopian government of blocking aid to health facilities and preventing rape victims from getting help.

The 89-page report details the health impact, trauma, and stigma experienced by rape survivors aged six to 80 since the beginning of the armed conflict in Tigray in November last year.

The Ethiopian government has in the past denied purposely blocking humanitarian aid to the region.

The HRW accuses the warring parties of committing widespread sexual violence while deliberately targeting healthcare facilities, leaving survivors and their communities unable to get medical attention.

It details the physical and psychological injuries that result, including sexually transmitted diseases, broken bones, stab wounds, traumatic fistulas and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The rights group says the African Union, the United Nations and international donors should press the Ethiopian government and all parties to the conflict to halt abuses and allow international investigations into alleged abuses.

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