NAIROBI, Kenya -- Ethiopia’s government is accusing the head of the World Health Organization, a fellow Ethiopian, of lobbying neighboring countries to come to the aid of the country’s rebellious Tigray regional government with arms and other support.
Ethiopia’s army chief, Gen. Birhanu Jula, asserted to reporters on Wednesday that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had urged unnamed neighbors to “oppose the war and for (the Tigray People’s Liberation Front) to get arms.”
The army chief did not provide any evidence to support his claims.
The TPLF has been clashing with Ethiopian federal forces for two weeks after the country's prime minister accused the heavily armed regional government of attacking a military base. Each government regards the other as illegal after a months-long falling-out amid political reforms.
The army chief accused Tedros, a former Ethiopian foreign minister when the TPLF dominated Ethiopia's ruling coalition, of being a member of the TPLF and asked, “What do you expect of a person like him?”
There was no immediate response from WHO headquarters.
“What I can say in response is that I know Tedros, I know him as somebody who is passionately promoting global health, promoting the good health of people and promoting peace,” WHO Africa chief Matshidiso Moeti told reporters during a COVID-19 briefing. “I think this is extent of my knowledge of Tedros as a person.” For more, she referred to his office.