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Leaked audio from UN staff meeting says no concrete facts on rape

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The allegations of sexual violence and rape as weapons of war in Ethiopia were rather based on anecdotal evidence, based on what is said to be a leaked audio from a UN virtual meeting 

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A reportedly leaked audio of United Nations agencies staff meeting in Ethiopia, published by Ethiopian Disapora Politics on YouTube, says no concrete facts on allegations of sexual violence against women in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

The audio is said to be from a virtual meeting of UN Staff in Ethiopia. 

What stands out from the leaked video is that the allegations were primarily based on  anecdotal evidence. 

“Important to note is that we do not really have verified information, clearly something that is happening but in terms of data, statistics a lot of it remains anecdotal,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to AU and UNECA. 

Letty Chiwara, UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, was in attendance at the online meeting. She said, “…escalating cases of sexual violence and rape being perpetrated against women and grils, and in some instances also media hype – I would call it – around rape being used as a weapon of war, which we know, sometimes is true, sometimes it is not true.” 

The alleged leak has caused conversation in social media among Ethiopian activists and foreigners who seem to closely follow the situation in Ethiopia. 

Bronwyn Bruton, who works for the Atlantic Center, reacted to the leaked audio saying ” The disconnect between @UN

 statements on rape as a weapon of war and the CURRENT evidence at hand in #Ethiopia is problematic & merits your outrage. Just as important, though: I hope all will praise the professionalism and integrity of UN local & regional staff on the call.”

“Motherland,” apparently anonymous, reacted to it saying  “Indeed, it is important to hear from those who are on the ground and understand the context, rather than sensationalizing and taking things out of context for the sake of media consumption.” 

Many Ethiopians have been skeptical of the allegations of sexual violence and rape as weapons of wars in Tigray. Some point out that Tigray region lived with gender based violence including rape against women long before the Ethiopian government launched in November 2020 what it called law enforcement operation. 

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