“Five of my family members are killed and twelve of them were injured on Dec7, 2021. I am taking care of the 12 people at the place I am staying.
They burned my house down. My ten -year old daughter, my in – laws and neighbors have been killed. Now I am in distress,” said a woman in Ataye town while interviewed by Lila Talks.
Amongst the 30 rape survivors that are being hospitalized in Debre Birhan hospital in a separate area, the 20 year-old girl named Tigist Tizazu, who was gang raped by TPLF fighters in front of her two-year daughter was there.
Unable to afford a rent, she lives with her father and child in storage container where she sells tea from.
As to her, business is very slow in Mehal Meda because its situated rural area and it’s not convenient for business. She said: “On their way out, the TPLF fighters came to our home at 3 AM and said ‘open the door. If you don’t open, we will shoot you’. We were scared for our lives so we opened the door.
The men that came were three. When we opened the door, we fell to our knees, begging them to spare our lives and home saying we are poor people.
My father is 80 years old and my child is only two.” She went on saying: “The soldier snatched my child from me. I kept begging him, asking him please, what do you want?”
please I am begging you. But he would not listen; they snatched my child from me and came inside my home.” “I don’t remember when they suffocated me with their hand over my mouth. I think they sprayed something like perfume. But I saw them snatch my child.
I don’t remember when he put me on bed, took of clothes and did what they wanted, she said with tears.” “I think it was around 6 AM that I woke up spraying holywater on me.
When I woke up, the first thing I asked was ‘where is my child?’My father was tied to a tree as they tortured him while I was unconscious. My daughter was screaming and crying.
They were holding her as she was screaming and scratching his face looking for me.
My father was crying as well. When I regained consciousness at 6 AM and I saw my daughter, my will to live was restored.” Tizita said if she had lost her daughter, she would have taken her own life. When she saw her sweet child, she had hope again.
Once she had that hope, she let go of everything and went to her. As to her, the rebel group had hurt her father physically, ordered him to carry weapons and to join them.
Her father had suffered a lot, was taken and tortured all the way to Guassa. He was covered with wounds but she helped him get better.
“We have overcome this dark time. It’s like having a labor pain but that’s momentary but it goes away after birth.
But this, this is dark and a never ending labor pain. If I was ever going through that life again, I would pray that God takes away my life.
We have endured a lot of challenges but the country is getting calmer and it is giving us hope”, she said.
BY BETELHEM BEDLU
The 3 March 2022