Ethiopian prime minister accused of committing war crimes

Written by By Staff Writer Amnesty International accused Tigrayan rebels of gang raping women and girls in the region of Ethiopia late last year, in some cases while dozens of families waited at checkpoints…

Ethiopian prime minister accused of committing war crimes

Written by By Staff Writer

Amnesty International accused Tigrayan rebels of gang raping women and girls in the region of Ethiopia late last year, in some cases while dozens of families waited at checkpoints in the city of Addis Ababa for buses to evacuate their loved ones.

In its report released Wednesday, Amnesty warned of a “climate of fear” in the region, where residents fear being targeted for speaking out, and likened the regime of Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, to the Ethiopian Revolutionary Democratic Front (ERDF), a rebel group that was accused of gross human rights abuses.

Amnesty warned that “those who speak out, are threatened, detained, prosecuted, or worse,” adding that it has received “widespread reports of torture, sexual violence, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearances, and forced disappearances by the ESDF.”

The HRF rebels launched attacks against the Ethiopian state in 1991, which continued until 2004. An international court eventually indicted the group for murder, torture, kidnapping, coercion and repression of ethnic groups after the July 2002 raid that resulted in the fatal shooting of leader Abdillahi Ngodaw. In July 2018, the Ethiopian government lost a two-year civil war against the rebels.

Human Rights Watch has repeatedly noted that many people who criticize the prime minister have faced intimidation or harassment from the National Intelligence and Security Service and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

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