Ethiopia baselessly accuses WHO director general Tedros Adhnom Ghebreyesus of backing Tigray rebels

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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.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by senior White House advisors and Cabinet members, addresses his remarks in the Rose Garden at a press briefing on issues with China and announcing the termination of U.S. relations with the World health Organization. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
President Donald J. Trump, joined by senior White House advisors and Cabinet members, addresses his remarks in the Rose Garden at a press briefing on issues with China and announcing the termination of U.S. relations with the World health Organization. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

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.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by senior White House advisors and Cabinet members, addresses his remarks in the Rose Garden at a press briefing on issues with China and announcing the termination of U.S. relations with the World health Organization. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
President Donald J. Trump, joined by senior White House advisors and Cabinet members, addresses his remarks in the Rose Garden at a press briefing on issues with China and announcing the termination of U.S. relations with the World health Organization. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

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 Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E. Mr. Abiy Ahmed has arrived in Sochi to take part in the Russia–Africa Summit. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS
The Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E. Mr. Abiy Ahmed arrives in Sochi to take part in the Russia–Africa Summit in October 2019 Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS

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.

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

1 COMMENT

  1. how you identified the accuses of WHO leader is baseless ? do you need military secret is openly informed for public ?

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