Member of Parliament for the Cities of London & Westminster, Nickie Aiken, today raised concerns about ongoing reports of rape and sexual violence being used as weapons in the continuing Tigray War.
Since November 2020, the Ethiopian government has conducted a military campaign against a regional faction, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. The conflict has displaced over two million people and there have been numerous reports of looting and human rights abuses including sexual assault as well as attacks on refugee camps.
Nickie would like the UK government to take the lead ensuring the international community holds individuals and groups perpetrating sexual violence in the conflict are held to account for their crimes. Nickie made this point in a question to the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Dominic Rabb, in the House of Commons earlier today.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm sure my Right Honourable friend shares my concern and, frankly, horror at the ongoing reports of rape and sexual violence being used as weapons in the ongoing Tigray conflict.
And join the US government in calling for a joint investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission into such reports.
Does he agree that, with the UK hosting the G7 this summer, that it's a perfect opportunity to put preventing sexual violence in conflict on the agenda and lead a global response to such heinous crimes?
The Foreign Secretary responded,
Can I thank my Honourable friend. I totally share her passion and outrage at the human rights violations we've seen, indeed not just there but in many other parts of the world, and I can reassure her.
In terms of the G7 presidency priorities, along with tackling COVID, along with climate change, pressing for human rights, freedom of speech, and accountability for human rights violations is high up on the agenda.
You can watch Nickie ask her question to the Foreign Secretary, and his response above.