UNSC: ‘Deep concern’ about sexual violence allegations in Tigray

Hundreds of women have reported horrific accounts of rape and gang rape since the start of the conflict in Tigray Nearly six months after the eruption of fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the United Nations Security Council has issued its first joint statement on the continuing crisis, expressing “deep concern” about allegations of human rights violations, including reports of sexual violence against women and girls.

The 15-member body on Thursday also called for “a scaled-up humanitarian response and unfettered humanitarian access” to address humanitarian needs, including for people in the embattled region who are in need of food assistance.

“Today, the Security Council breaks its silence on the ongoing crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia,” said Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland’s ambassador to the UN who led negotiations over the text. “For the first time, this Council speaks with one voice to express its collective concern about the dire humanitarian situation on the ground.”

The Security Council has discussed the situation in Tigray behind closed doors several times before but had not been able to agree on a statement, because of opposition from its African members and Russia and China, according to reports citing diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity.

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