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Ethiopia: Press Statement of Office of the Representative of the Secretary-General On Sexual Violence in Conflict

Press Release - United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, urges all parties to prohibit the use of sexual violence and cease hostilities in the Tigray region of Ethiopia

26 January 2021 p United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, urges all parties to prohibit the use of sexual violence and cease hostilities in the Tigray region of Ethiopia I am greatly concerned by serious allegations of sexual violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, including a high number of alleged rapes in the capital, Mekelle.Some women have also reportedly been forced by military elements to have sex in exchange for basic commodities, while medical centres have indicated an increase in the demand for emergency contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which is often an indicator of sexual violence in conflict.In addition, there are increasing reports of sexual violence against women and girls in a number of refugee camps.While noting the volatile security situation in the Tigray region, the hampered physical access in many parts of Tigray, and the dire situation of civilians, especially refugees, it remains critical that humanitarian actors and independent human rights monitors be granted immediate, unconditional and sustained access to the entirety of the Tigray region, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugee camps where new arrivals have allegedly reported cases of sexual violence.

Immediate medical and psychosocial assistance must be accompanied by protection measures, to ensure that those who have been forced from their homes due to violence are not placed at further risk of sexual violence within the camps.Constrained humanitarian access and limited resources for service providers have reduced the availability of essential health care and assistance for survivors of sexual violence, including sexual and reproductive health care.

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