Ethiopia demanded Tedros, the WHO chief, be probed for “harmful misinformation” and “misconduct”.
Ethiopia has requested that the United Nations Health Organization probe its president, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for “harmful misinformation” and “misconduct,” accusing him of supporting rebels in his own war-torn Tigray area.
Tedros, the highest-profile Tigrayan outside Ethiopia, characterized the area as “hell” this week, alleging that the government is blocking medications and other life-saving help from reaching people.
Addis Abeba claimed Tedros’ statements jeopardized the World Health Organization’s legitimacy and demanded an investigation into “misconduct and breach of his professional and legal duties.”
“He has been meddling in Ethiopia’s domestic affairs, particularly Ethiopia’s ties with the state of Eritrea,” the foreign ministry said late Thursday, citing a letter submitted to WHO.
Tedros was accused by the government of helping the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the government’s foe in the country’s north and a terror organization in Ethiopia.
Thousands have been killed in the battle, and many more have been brought to the edge of hunger.
Tedros had “spread damaging falsehoods and jeopardized WHO’s image, independence, and integrity,” the foreign ministry stated, citing his “social media comments that explicitly advocate the violence committed by the TPLF against the Ethiopian people.”
The Ethiopian envoy to the United Nations also condemned his statements and demanded that Tedros withdraw himself “from any affairs touching Ethiopia.”
“Partisan, politically and personally driven workers, blindsided from working in their global duties, limit the most important work of UN agencies,” the organization stated on Twitter on Wednesday.
Tedros called limits on supplies entering rebel-controlled Tigray, which the UN has termed as a de facto siege, a “insult to our humanity” on Wednesday.
It is “so horrible and unfathomable in this period, the twenty-first century, when a government denies its own people food, medication, and the necessities of life for more than a year,” Tedros told reporters.
Addis Abeba accused the TPLF of the embargo on Friday, accusing the rebels of obstructing key humanitarian passages into their Tigray heartland.
According to the foreign ministry, the international community should “hold the TPLF responsible for the crime of starving civilians in Tigray, in whose name it has been wreaking havoc.”
Ethiopian Army and their allies have been battling the TPLF since November 2020, when Prime Minister Abiy deployed troops into Tigray after the rebels allegedly attacked army barracks.
It is not the first time Tedros, who became the first African to lead WHO in 2017, has enraged Ethiopians with his statements on the war.
At the start of the conflict, Ethiopia’s army leader, Berhanu Jula, accused the 56-year-old of assisting the TPLF in acquiring weapons.
The WHO director-general denied the charges, saying he was “on the side of peace.”