GENEVA, 29 December 2020 – The Ethiopian-born Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says he is personally pained by the war in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region.
“My country is in trouble,” Dr. Tedros, who is from Tigray, told journalists during a press conference.
“I have many relatives there (Tigray), including my younger brother,” Dr. Tedros said before adding: “I don’t know where they are. I haven’t communicated with them”.
Main communication channels with Tigray, including telephones and the Internet, have been restricted or cut off since the beginning of the conflict which has killed thousands of civilians and driven over 50,000 people into refugee camps in neighboring Sudan.
He described the year 2020 as a “very difficult year” for him.
“As if COVID is not enough, I have that personal pain also. I worry about my country,” the WHO boss told reporters.
Last November 4, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered federal forces to invade Tigray reportedly to stop members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) whom he accused of attacking a military base, killing up to 50 soldiers and stealing weapons.
A former minister in the Ethiopian government when it was dominated by the TPLF, Dr. Tedros denied the allegations by Abiy Ahmed.