Ethiopia’s military on Thursday baselessly accused the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhnom Ghebreyesus of supporting Tigray’s rebels.
The military claimed without providing any evidence that the WHO chief was trying to procure arms for Tigray state’s main political party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is fighting the federal government.
Ethiopia’s army chief of staff General Birhanu Jula said in a televised address that Dr. Tedros Adhnom Ghebreyesus should be removed from office because he is “a criminal” and “a member of that group.”
Birhanu claimed that Tedros was using his international platform to get diplomatic support and weapons for the TPLF.
“He has been doing everything to support them, he has campaigned to get the neighboring countries to condemn the war,” Birhanu said in his televised address, without providing any evidence.
“He has worked to facilitate weapons for them. He tried to lobby people by using his international profile and mission to get support for the TPLF junta,” he added.
Tedros is an Ethiopian of Tigrayan origin but the military did not provide any evidence to back up its incendiary claims.
As he fights the deadly coronavirus, Dr. Tedros, who was Ethiopia’s health minister and foreign minister in a ruling coalition led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), has often come under attack from people in his own country, and from the outgoing American President, Donald John Trump, who also baselessly accused him and the WHO of being “China-centric” and of not providing the US early warnings about COVID-19.
But a book and tapes by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward showed that Mr. Trump deliberately downplayed the pandemic to protect his presidency. He also praised China himself and only began to blame everyone else when many Americans began to die under his watch.
The TPLF was the ruling party in Ethiopia for decades as the most powerful part of the coalition until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018 promising to bring change.
The TPLF has refused to join Abiy’s own national party, after the other three regional parties were folded into his own.
Tedros, 55, has survived previous unfounded accusations since he was elected in May 2017 as the WHO’s first African director-general.