A horrifying report shows the ‘Rape Wars’ in Ethiopia are escalating with women in eastern Ethiopia fleeing rape

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Thousands of women in eastern Ethiopia are being targeted in the current war as women continue to be increasingly raped in the conflict in the region, according to Human Rights Watch.

Women in Ijara, one of the biggest towns in Gambella, have experienced “forced marriage”, including early pregnancy.

According to HRW, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has heard of up to 12,000 cases of rape in the region in the last five years. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia conducted a detailed study in the region, reporting that “interventions aimed at stopping rape and sexual assault appear to have had no impact.”

While the report focuses on the violence committed against women, the report also notes “similar patterns of abuse against other vulnerable groups, including men, children, old people, and persons with disabilities.”

The report highlights the impact of the war and the violations it has led to on women in particular.

The war in Gambella began in November 2016 and has led to displacement of thousands of civilians, including tens of thousands of children. The last displacement of families began in August 2018.

The violence is part of a wider one that has affected hundreds of thousands of people.

In a country with very high rates of sexual violence, large numbers of women and girls have been victims of sexual violence in this conflict. In parts of these zones, journalists and rights groups have documented mass sexual violence, including gang rapes.

See the report below.

[1] https://www.hrw.org/news/release/2018/10/14/gambella-ruf factions-kill-rape-displaced-adult-women

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