Ethiopia: The people of Tuhuli, in Tigray, tell the story of hell

English translation of a broadcast article on Radio France International:

De nombreuses femmes de Tuhuli dans le Tigré ont été violées lors de l'attaque (image d'illustration)
Many women in Tuhuli in Tigray were raped during the attack (illustration image) AFP

Published: 05/17/2021 – 04:28

A new series of abuses was reportedly perpetrated by the Ethiopian army in TigrAY. The conflict between the federal army and the former provincial power of the TPLF since November has already resulted in thousands of deaths. Each side is accused of committing crimes against the population [note by the translator: apparently journalists get their paper published only if they include such sentence]. Our special envoy, Sébastien Németh, visited Tuhuli, a village about 30 kilometres west of the provincial capital Mekelle. Residents reportedly suffered a brutal attack by the federal army last Tuesday and Wednesday.

With our special envoy to Tuhuli, Sébastien Németh

Residents talk about 24 hours of ordeal. The soldiers are said to have arrived in large numbers. Maybe several hundred. They would have gone door-to-door, beating and stripping those who opened them. Tedros, 39, suffered serious eye injuries.

“Six soldiers broke down the door. They asked for my identity, took my money and beat me up. One of them tried to strangle me, another beat my eye with boots. I fled while they were counting the money they had stolen from me. »

But the military also targeted women. The number of victims is still unknown, but a nurse says there have been at least 20 rapes. Azadamara, 45, is in tears as she recounts the hell three soldiers put her through.

They raped me one by one. They tried to strangle me and hit my genitals. It lasted for four hours. They accused me of being the mother of rebels. Today, my body and mind are broken. »

Shame and social pressure prevent many victims from making themselves known. A health worker, Sister Tayir is based on the spot and has never seen such a tragedy. “Sexual desire is a normal thing. But this is different. Serial rapes, systematic, for me it is hatred, to destroy the dignity of the Tigreans. »

For some victims, sexual abuse is aimed at sterilizing women and preventing the emergence of a new generation of Tigrayans, who seek to avenge their parents.

Tuhuli is a remote village, northwest of Gijet

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