OMNATIGRAY- Human Rights advocate:
While celebrating Ashenda2021, it is critical that we speak up for the survivors of the TigrayGenocide who survived unspeakable atrocities.
On December 4th, 2020, Mona Lisa Abraha fought off Eritrean soldiers who attempted to rape her. In return, the soldiers shot her resulting in the amputation of her limb.
Mona Lisa is one example of the countless women in Tigray who experienced weaponized sexual & gender-based violence (SGBV). At 18, she has experienced multiple traumas & will need support, similar to other survivors, to ensure a return to her normal life as much as possible.
Women + girls in Tigray have experienced unspeakable atrocities with the most prevalent being rape as a weapon of war. Over 10,000 Tigrayan women & girls have been raped by Ethiopian, Eritrean & Amhara forces with many reporting being sexually assaulted in public or in front of their family members.
Survivor testimonies include stories of being gang raped for days, & being penetrated with sharp foreign objects. While being raped, many survivors recall their assailants stating their intentions for Tigrayan women & girls’ wombs to no longer give birth to the Tigrayan ethnicity, attempting to change the ethnic makeup of the next generation of Tigray.
Tigrayan women are now pregnant due to rape by members of the Ethiopian, Eritrean, & Amhara forces. The women have been left with virtually no access to health care, as over 80% of the healthcare facilities have been destroyed by these same forces. The Tigray Genocide has now reached its 9th month & women who were raped have began to give birth.
Additionally, men + boys have been subjected to Weaponized SGBV. Bodies of deceased men killed by Ethiopian, Eritrean & Amhara forces show castration amongst other assaults to their physical bodies. Men & boys have testified to being raped by these forces as well.
We are calling for the international community to officially recognize the Tigray Genocide, call for the protection of Tigrayans, support in the full withdrawal of Ethiopian, Eritrean, & Amhara forces from Tigray, & call for a UN-led + UN-only independent investigation into all atrocities committed in Tigray amongst other demands.