Ethiopia Wants WHO to Investigate Tedros Over Tigray Remarks

Ethiopia’s government has accused the head of the UN’s health agency of interfering in its internal affairs. Separately, another UN body warned that the Tigray region is on “the edge of a major humanitarian disaster.”

Ethiopia’s government has asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate its own boss, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry on Friday wrote to the WHO’s executive board claiming he spread harmful misinformation and “compromised WHO’s reputation, independence, credibility.”

The ministry’s statement called for Tedros, himself an Ethiopian, to be investigated for “misconduct and violation of his professional and legal responsibility.”

Ethiopia accused the WHO head of supporting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), its adversary in a conflict in the country’s north.

The remarks that got Ethiopia’s attention

The letter from Ethiopia follows a media conference on Wednesday, during which Tedros accused the government of deliberately withholding food and medicine from millions of people in the Tigray region.

“Nowhere in the world are we witnessing a hell as in Tigray,” Tedros said.

He doubled down on his remark in a Tweet on Thursday: “People in Tigray, Ethiopia, living under de facto blockade for over a year, are dying from lack of medicine & food, & repeated drone attacks. WHO & partners call for safe, unimpeded access to deliver humanitarian aid to the millions of people in great need. We need access now!”

Addis Ababa has previously accused Tedros of supporting the Tigray force, a charge he has denied. The government now wants him to recuse himself “from all matters concerning Ethiopia.”

Tedros was a foreign minister and health minister when the TPLF dominated the country’s ruling coalition.