Ethiopia raps WHO chief for ‘supporting’ rebellion Tigray forces

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Ethiopia has accused the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief of supporting the rebellious Tigrayan forces who are fighting the government.

The Ethiopian government was miffed with WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus when he tweeted that aid was being blocked from getting through his hometown Tigray.

On Thursday, Tedros, who previously served as the Ethiopian health minister and foreign minister,  tweeted. “People in #Tigray #Ethiopia, living under de facto blockade for over a year, are dying from lack of medicine & food, & repeated drone attacks. @WHO & partners call for safe, unimpeded access to deliver humanitarian aid to the millions of people in great need.”

The tweet didn’t sit well with the Ethiopian government which denied blocking aid.

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“Tedros Adhanom’s moral, legal and professional standing threatens WHO’s organisational standing,” it said in a statement, reports Reuters.

“He has spread harmful misinformation and compromised WHO’s reputation, independence, credibility which is evident from his social media postings,” it added.

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said Tedros failed to show integrity and professionalism and was a member of the TPLF, which dominated Ethiopian politics for nearly 30 years before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s 2018 appointment.

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“Tedros encourages the TPLF in his media engagements and celebrates what is presumed to be a military success of the group, besides engaging in selective outrage where he discriminately addresses the humanitarian concerns in Ethiopia,” the ministry said.

The government designated TPLF a terrorist group after the war erupted in November 2020. Tedros, a Tigrayan, was a member of the TPLF, Reuters reported.

Thousands have been killed in the conflict in Tigray, which spread to two neighbouring regions in northern Ethiopia before Tigrayan forces were forced to withdraw back to Tigray in December.

(With inputs from agencies)