Ethiopia army accuses WHO boss Dr Tedros of supporting Tigray

2 weeks ago
14 Views

Tedros Adhanom,

AFP

Ethiopia’s army chief has accused the head of the World Health Organization of lobbying in favour of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is fighting federal troops.

Hundreds have died in the conflict in Tigray since the beginning of November.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is Tigrayan and was health minister in the previous Ethiopian government, which was led by the TPLF.

He has not yet responded to the BBC’s request for comment.

Gen Berhanu Jula said in a press conference that Dr Tedros had “left no stone unturned” to support the TPLF and help get them weapons.

“We don’t expect him to stand on the side of Ethiopians and condemn these people. He has been doing everything to support them, he has campaigned for neighbouring countries to condemn the war,” said Gen Berhanu.

“He has worked for them to get weapons.”

After being voted in as the head of the WHO in 2017, Dr Tedros became well known at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and is now arguably the highest-profile Tigrayan abroad.

Meanwhile, the UN’s refugee agency warns that a full-scale humanitarian crisis is unfolding.

More than 30,000 people have crossed the border from Ethiopia into Sudan.

Ethiopian refugees who fled intense fighting in their homeland of Tigray, cook their meal in the border reception centre of Hamdiyet, in the eastern Sudanese state of Kasala, on November 14, 2020. - Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize, ordered military operations in Tigray last week, shocking the international community which fears the start of a long and bloody civil war.

Getty Images

Thousands of civilians are continuing to flee across the border, the UN Refugee Agency’s representative for Sudan, Axel Bisschop told the BBC.

He said most were families leaving on foot because it had become too dangerous to stay.

What’s the conflict about?

The TPLF dominated Ethiopia’s military and politics for decades before Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in 2018.

He pushed through major reforms which some say sidelined the TPLF.

The feud escalated in September when Tigray held a regional election, defying a nationwide ban on all polls imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Abiy called the vote illegal.

Then fighting broke out on 4 November after Ethiopia’s central government accused the TPLF of attacking a military base to steal weapons.

The TPLF has denied the attack.

2px presentational grey line

Five things about Tigray:

1. The Kingdom of Aksum was centred in the region. Described as one of the greatest civilisations of the ancient world, it was once the most powerful state between the Roman and Persian empires.

Ruins of the palace of the Queen of Sheba near Axum, Aksum, Dongur Palace

Getty Images

2. The ruins of the city of Aksum are a UN World Heritage Site. The site, dating from between the 1st and 13th Century AD, features obelisks, castles, royal tombs and a church which is believed by some to house the Ark of the Covenant.

3. Most people in Tigray are Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. The region’s Christian roots stretch back 1,600 years.

4. The region’s main language is Tigrinya, a Semitic dialect with at least seven million speakers worldwide.

5. Sesame is a major cash crop, exported to the US, China and other countries.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

BBC News – Africa

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »