Doctors describe campaign of sexual violence against women fleeing fighting in Ethiopia

Tigrayan refugees.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Throughout much of the humanitarian crisis in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray over the last few months, access for journalists and aid agencies has been severely restricted, making it difficult to verify reports of what was happening on the ground. Now, that's changing, and a clearer picture of the violence is coming into focus.

Nine doctors in Ethiopia and one in a Sudanese refugee camp told CNN that they've seen an alarming increase in sexual assault and rape cases since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive in Tigray. A CNN team also spoke with several women who described being raped by Ethiopian and allied Eritrean soldiers as they fled the fighting. One doctor at a hospital said more than 200 women had been admitted for sexual violence in recent months, while many more cases have been reported in rural villages and centers for internally displaced people, which have little or no access to medical care.

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