Ethiopia accuses WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of supporting Tigray region

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 19, 2020, 04:18 PM(IST)

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Photograph:( AFP )

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An Ethiopian of Tigrayan descent, Dr Tedros served as Ethiopia's health minister and foreign minister from 2005-2016 in a government coalition led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF)

Ethiopian army on Thursday accused World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of supporting dissidents in Tigray region. Ethiopian army is currently engaged in an armed conflict with country's Tigray region. The military even accused Dr Tedros of supporting and trying to procure arms and diplomatic backing for Tigray's dominant political party.

"This man is a member of that group," army chief of staff General Birhanu Jula said in a televised statement.

"What do you expect from him when his group and his like are entered into the war?" Birhanu said, calling Tedros a criminal who should be stripped of his WHO post. He was quoted by Reuters.

An Ethiopian of Tigrayan descent, Tedros served as Ethiopia's health minister and foreign minister from 2005-2016 in a government coalition led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF effectively ruled the country for decades as the strongest force in the coalition, until Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy took office two years ago.

Also Read | Ethiopia says its troops marching on Tigrayan capital

"We don't expect him to stand on the side of Ethiopians and condemn these people. He has been doing everything to support them, he has campaigned for neighbouring countries to condemn the war."

Birhanu did not give further specific details of his allegations against Tedros.

Tedros, 55, was elected in May 2017 as the WHO's first African director-general, and has come to global prominence as head of the health body during the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Jula did not give specific details to back his allegations against Dr Tedros.

There was no immediate comment from the WHO.

(With Reuters inputs)

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