WHO chief says uncle was ‘murdered’ by Eritrean troops in Tigray | Conflict News

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is a former Ethiopian minister from Tigray who has been a vocal critic of the conflict.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said his uncle was “killed” by Eritrean troops in Ethiopia’s war-torn northern Tigray region.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made this remark at the end of a press conference on COVID-19 in Geneva on Wednesday. He revealed that he nearly canceled the event because he was “unwell” and that it was a “difficult time” for him.

The WHO Director-General is a former Ethiopian minister from Tigray. In the past, he has been a vocal critic of Ethiopia’s role in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

“I was informed that my uncle was killed by the Eritrean army,” the 57-year-old told reporters. “I talked to my mom and she was really down because he was the youngest in their family and he was almost my age, a young uncle.”

The Ethiopian government and regional forces from Tigray agreed in November to end the warin a breakthrough after two years of fighting.

However, troops from Eritrea to the north and forces from neighboring Ethiopia’s Amhara region to the south, who fought alongside Ethiopia’s troops in Tigray did not participate in the ceasefire signed in the South. Fly.

“I hope that this [peace] the deal will stand and this madness will stop but it’s a very difficult time for me,” Tedros said, adding that more than 50 others were killed in a similar incident. But he did not disclose the location or time of the alleged attack.

Tedros told Reuters news agency that his cousin was killed last year in an attack in Tigray when a church was blown up, but he gave no further details.

At a press conference on December 2, Tedros raised concerns about areas still under Eritrean military control.

War broke out in Tigray in November 2020. It pitted Tigrayan forces against federal troops and their allies, including Eritrea and fighters from Amhara. The conflict has caused countless deaths, forced more than two million people from their homes and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation.

The Ethiopian government, which opposes Tedros’ second term as head of the global health agency, has accused him of seeking to buy weapons and provide diplomatic support for rebel forces – allegations which he rejected.

Ethiopian and Eritrean authorities did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment on the allegations.

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