Ethiopian Army Boss Accuses WHO’s Head Of Backing Tigray

Ethiopia’s army chief, General Berhanu Jula, has accused the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the country, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, of lobbying in favour of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which is fighting federal troops.

The East African country’s army boss alleged that Ghebreyesus had “left no stone unturned” to support the TPLF and help get them weapons.

“He has worked in neighboring countries to condemn the war. He has worked for them to get weapons,” army chief of staff General Berhanu Jula told a press conference.

Ghebreyesus, in a tweet posted in the evening, denied taking sides in the conflict in his home country Ethiopia and called on all parties there to work for peace and the safety of civilians.

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“There have been reports suggesting I am taking sides in this situation. This is not true and I want to say that I am on only one side and that is the side of peace,” said Tedros, 55, who is of Tigrayan ethnicity.

He was health minister in the previous Ethiopian government, which was led by the TPLF, and is the highest-profile Tigrayan abroad.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says the military operation against Tigray is essential to restore law and order in the country.

On Wednesday, The UK’s representative at the World Health Organization (WHO), Julian Braithwaite, posted on Twitter a photo of himself with the Ethiopian head of the body, Ghebreyesus.

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Mr Braithwaite tweeted about a meeting held on Thursday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “Thanks @WHO for today’s updates on ACT-Accelerator & origins of COVID-19. In the discussion, I raised (1) UK’s $1bn contribution (20% of total) to global efforts for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests and called on others to contribute more and the importance of the WHO-led investigation into COVID-19’s origins so we can prevent future pandemics. Look forward to regular updates on this in the coming months.”

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