Ethiopia-Tigray conflict: Ethiopian government responds to WHO chief’s criticism

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry, has responded to criticism of its conduct in the Tigray region by the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this week, with a letter containing multiple allegations of misconduct by the WHO head.


The Foreign Ministry has written to the WHO’s executive board with a scathing ad hominem attack on WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, himself an Ethiopian, in which it accuses Tedros of not living up to the integrity and professional expectations required of his office, despite Ethiopia having nominated him for the global health body’s top job.


The letter further claims that Tedros had been interfering in the internal affairs of Ethiopia, including its relations with neighbouring Eritrea, and that Tedros was still an active member and supporter of the TPLF, the former ruling party of Ethiopia that is now engaged in a civil war against the government in Addis Ababa, and is deemed a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government.


A further accusation made in the letter was that Tedros had tasked WHO staff in Ethiopia with worsening the conflict to such a degree that the international community would consider intervening.


The letter ends with a request that the executive board commission an investigation into its director-general’s alleged misconduct and dereliction of professional duties.


Tedros, who comes from Tigray originally, sharply criticized the Ethiopian government at a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday, describing the situation in war-torn Tigray as catastrophic: “Nowhere in the world are we witnessing a hell as in Tigray.”


There has been no response so far from the WHO or Tedros to the Foreign Ministry’s claims.



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