Friday June 4, 2021
Ethiopia Attorney General Gedion Timothewos (L) speaks during a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 3, 2021. The Ethiopian Federal Attorney General Office announced on Thursday criminal charges have been filed against 53 soldiers accused of killing and raping civilians. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian Federal Attorney General Office announced on Thursday criminal charges have been filed against 53 soldiers accused of killing and raping civilians.
Speaking to journalists, Ethiopia Attorney General, Gedion Timothewos, said 53 soldiers have been indicted on criminal charges relating to accusations of killings and rapes in Ethiopia's northern Tigray regional state.
"Military prosecutors have conducted their own investigation and so far, they have pressed charges against 28 soldiers who have been suspected of killing civilians in such situations where there was no military necessity," said Timothewos.
"Furthermore, military prosecutors have pressed charges against 25 soldiers who have been suspected of committing acts of sexual violence and rape, the trials of these suspects are underway and so far, there have been four convictions," he further said.
Timothewos said his office is currently investigating several hundred instances of alleged rapes in the restive Tigray regional state.
Allegations of sexual violence against women and children including rapes in the ongoing war in Tigray regional state have caused widespread local and international concern.
The Ethiopian government has pledged to investigate and bring to justice any security forces found to have committed sexual violence in Tigray regional state.
Months of fighting in northern Ethiopia's Tigray between the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which used to rule the Tigray regional state until last November, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces has reportedly left thousands of people dead, hundreds of thousands displaced.