Tigray: Armed Conflict

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 23rd July 2021.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the UN to (a) investigate and (b) hold accountable the perpetrators of crimes of sexual violence in Tigray.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are appalled at the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence in Tigray. We have raised this issue in a variety of multilateral fora, including the UNSC and G7. We welcome the joint Inquiry of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission into human rights violations and abuses in Tigray, and continue to press for unfettered access to the region and victims. The UK is supporting the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure that their joint investigation into atrocities in Tigray with the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission is independent, transparent and impartial and holds the parties to this conflict directly responsible for these unspeakable crimes.

The UK has recently allocated a further £16.7 million towards the crisis in Tigray. Part of this funding will be used to support survivors of sexual violence, through mobile health teams and by helping to re-start service delivery at health centres that were impacted by violence and looting. The UK has also deployed an individual from the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative to Tigray to complete a scoping mission to identify gaps and provide recommendations for the UK's response.

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