On 25 May 2021, the webinar “Conflict-Related Sexual Violence against Women in Tigray” took place in the framework of webinar series “Voices from Tigray”. The aim of this online meeting was to give a platform to testimonies of witnesses, describing the atrocities that occurred in the conflict in the Tigray region. The meeting was chaired by Hon. Julia Duncan-Cassell, former Minister of Gender in Liberia. International experts discussed the consequences of rape and gender-based violence on Tigray women and girls and the implication of soldiers, particularly Eritreans, in these crimes In conclusion, experts called for peace in the Horn of Africa and an end to the violence and discrimination of the civil population. The meeting’s main outcomes included calls for all foreign troops, particularly Eritreans, to withdraw from Ethiopia; referral of Eritrea to the International Criminal Court; and immediate cessation by all parties of rape as a weapon of war.
In this week’s news highlights: CNN report states Eritrean soldiers still in Tigray, blocking key aid routes; US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman visits Horn of Africa; Oromia authorities detaining adults and children with no charges; Ethiopian peacekeepers of Tigray origin seek asylum in Sudan; The Telegraph: leaked church letter states Ethiopian and Eritrean troops massacred priests and other church staff in Tigray; Japan-IOM joint project to support IDPs, refugees and vulnerable communities in Sudan; 5 migrants drowned and 23 missing off the coast of Libya, 700 returned; More than 2000 migrants landed in Lampedusa (Italy) in less than 24 hours; 70 migrants rescued off the coast of Malta; Allegations of severe abuse and misidentification by Greek and Frontex authorities in Greece; Joint meeting between the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs; EU and UNHCR reject UK asylum seekers relocation plan.
In this week’s news highlights: Amnesty International says international community response to human rights violation in Tigray “has been woefully insufficient”; Report by International Rescue Committee shows gender based violence increasing in Tigray refugee and IDP camps; At least 5,000 children separated from parents by Tigray conflict are in danger, says Save the Children; Documentary film on Eritrea’s regime shows footage smuggled from inside; IOM warns of lack of medical assistance for South Sudan IDPs; UNHCR and Kenya will implement roadmap to close two refugee camps; IOM needs funds for health assistance in East and Horn of Africa; Migrants and refugees beaten by Libyan Coast Guard, video by Sea Watch 4; The Guardian says at least 2,000 refugee deaths have been caused due to illegal pushbacks supported by EU; 450 migrants disembarked in Sicily, at least 11 die off Libya coasts; People feel unsafe as Greece shut down refugee camp; New British refugee policy heavily criticised as a “sham” by over 200 organisations; “Serious and systematic violations of the rights of unaccompanied minors” denounced by French NGOs; IOM World Migration Report now available online.