Vital Voices’ Statement on Violence in Tigray

April 2021 – At Vital Voices, we are deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Tigray and strongly condemn the reported atrocities. For months, the conflict in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia has cost thousands of lives and displaced at least one million people. We are alarmed by the reports of targeted attacks against civilians, including rape and other horrific forms of sexual violence specifically targeting women and girls in the region. What is happening is unacceptable;  sexual violence as a weapon in conflict is a war crime and must stop now.

We condemn these atrocities and call for an independent investigation of these crimes. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ethiopia and the diaspora, and call for the immediate withdrawal of Eritrean troops from Tigray. We also call on all parties to the conflict, specifically the Ethiopian government, to end the violence and ensure all civilians, especially women and children, are respected and protected from all human rights abuses including sexual violence, and call on the global community to mobilize attention and resources toward the people affected by this war.

I am deeply concerned by the grave human suffering including sexual violence resulting from the war in Tigray.  I urge the government of Ethiopia to swiftly address allegations of atrocities and end active hostilities and find a path towards peace.
Rahel Gettu, Global Freedom Exchange Fellow and Vital Voices Network Member