Sexual violence, executions... Ethiopians bear witness to the Tigrayan occupation

Fighters from the Tigray rebel forces in Ethiopia, June 2021. AFP - YASUYOSHI CHIBA

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1 min

In Ethiopia, Tigrayan rebels occupied the northern Afar region in the north of the country for nearly three months.

Their invasion displaced 336,000 individuals from the area.

Since the end of April, the Tigrayan forces have withdrawn, leaving behind a bloodless province.


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With our special correspondent in Erberti,

Noé Hochet-Bodin

That January night, when TPLF rebels stormed Erebti and its surroundings, Assiya Mohammed was unable to flee, unlike the town's 26,000 residents.

I have ten children in my care,

” she says.

 I couldn't leave them behind.

The Tigrayans surprised me so I got stuck here.

Nobody could help me.


According to local government figures, Assiya Mohammed and 20 other women were sexually abused during the occupation by Tigrayan forces.

We were scared, we cried, we had no choice.

When they conquered the place, they abused us almost every day by pointing their guns at us.


Not far from there, in the locality of Berhale, an improvised cemetery was dug at the entrance to the town.

Mayor Osman Khalil inspects the graves.

For the locality of Berhale alone, we recorded 99 civilian deaths.

In the sector of Damale, an agricultural land 21 km from here, 28 farmers were executed.

 In northern Afar, around 250 civilians are believed to have been killed, both in the fighting and during the ensuing occupation.


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  • Ethiopia