6th March 2021
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WHO boss denies taking sides in the Ethiopian civil war

Author: Koang Pal Chang | Published: Friday, November 20, 2020

File Photo: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organization - Courtesy

The head of the World Health Organization has denied taking sides in the ongoing civil war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

Ethiopia’s army chief, Gen. Birhanu Jula on Thursday accused Dr. Tedros of lobbying neighboring countries to support the Tigray regional government.

The army chief did not provide any evidence to support his claims.

After Ethiopia’s accusation, Tedros tweeted this statement @DrTedros:

My heart breaks for my home, Ethiopia, and I call on all parties to work for peace and to ensure the safety of civilians and access to health and humanitarian assistance to those in need.

I am deeply saddened about reports of casualties and large numbers of people being displaced and seeking refuge in neighboring countries. In the midst of a global pandemic, I am further concerned about the impact on health.

As a child, I have seen the destructive nature of war. I recall vividly the fighting and the terrible human toll. As an adult, I have used that first-hand experience to always work for peace, to bring warring parties together, and to start the dialogue to broker peace.

History looks favorably on those that manage to reach across, bridge division, and moves from war to peace. I join the United Nations Secretary­ General in calling for ”immediate measures to de-escalate tensions and ensure a peaceful resolution to the dispute.”

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.

The whole world needs peace for health and health for peace.

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