Hon. Julia Duncan-Cassell, the former Minister for Gender and Social Protection, Liberia was the Chair at the Webinar “Voice From Tigray: Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Against Women in Tigray” organised by European External Programme With Africa (EEPA) on 25 May 2021. She urged the international community to coordinate pressure and use targeted sanctions to stop the atrocities in Tigray. The full video of her opening and concluding remarks can be found here.
Hon. Duncan-Cassell asked all African women in leadership to step up their voice to stop the harrowing perpetration of rape as a weapon of war in Tigray in her concluding remarks at the webinar. She told the Tigray women who gave their testimony in the webinar that African women were sharing their pain and asked Africa and the world to end the violence against women.
Hon. Duncan-Cassell said that former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, current African Union Envoy to the Horn, is following the situation closely and is working with US UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to address it. In the Webinar, she stated that “the perpetration of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence has not diminished and is spreading across the Horn. There must be concerted and coordinated international pressure and targeted sanctions. These atrocities must come to an end, and soldiers and their commanders must be prosecuted.”
Duncan-Cassell emphasised three key points of action for the pressure to focus on:
- The withdrawal of all foreign troops from Tigray, particularly those from Eritrea;
- The referral of the deployment by Eritrea of National Service in a foreign jurisdiction to the International Criminal Court;
- All parties in Tigray to end with immediate effect the impunity of the use of Rape as a Weapon of War.