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WHO chief denies taking sides in Tigray crisis

WHO chief denies taking sides in Tigray crisis
Ethiopian government accuses Tedros Adhanom of serving as 'TPLF diplomat' soliciting diplomatic, arms support for rebels

By Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday denied accusations by the Ethiopian government that he has been serving as a diplomat for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

“There have been reports suggesting I am taking sides in this situation [the armed conflict between Ethiopian Defense Forces and the forces of the TPLF]. This is not true, and I want to say that I am on only one side, and that is the side of peace,” Tedros said on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, Redwan Hussein, spokesman for the State of Emergency Task Force for the Tigray Crisis, said the government was “well aware of the activities of Tedros, who has been calling on world leaders to pressurize Ethiopia.”

On Nov. 17, a top official of the Ethiopian government told Anadolu Agency that Tedros has been “fully engaged in soliciting diplomatic and military support” for the TPLF in many parts of the world.

Tedros, who has been serving in his position at the WHO since 2017, was a member of the TPLF’s powerful Executive Committee. He was also Ethiopia’s health minister from 2005 to 2012 and foreign affairs minister from 2012 to 2016.

On Nov. 4, Ethiopia launched what it described as a “law enforcement operation” in Tigray against the TPLF, whose forces stormed the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Army stationed in Tigray, killing soldiers and looting military assets.

“I am deeply saddened about reports of casualties and large numbers of people being displaced and seeking refuge in neighboring countries,” the WHO chief wrote, calling for “immediate measures to de-escalate tensions and ensure a peaceful resolution to the dispute.”

source: News Feed
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