Is it time for Tedros Adhanom to lose his WHO Directorate General position before he loses himself
borkena, Ethiopian News
Tedros Adhanom’s win as Director General of World Health Organization did not come easy. It took state-funded mobilization to rally African leaders in support of his candidacy, not to mention a shockwave from Ethiopian activists in social media. An active social media campaign was going on for a long time; some made points about his incompetence and others about his active role in human rights violation in Ethiopia which was in a collision course with United Nations values. If it was entirely about competence, he was up against formidable candidates compared to his experience which was, in fact, a reward of political affiliations and service to an ethnic-based party. He would not have been a minister in the first place if merit was given due credit in Ethiopia. Many were thinking of him as an embarrassment to represent Ethiopia in a position like that on grounds of his incompetence.
Now a director of an important United Nations agency, his competence is tested in the post-election. For many activists and politicians, including Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his sense of justice is rather sounded unsound after he picked Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe as World Health Organization’s goodwill ambassador for Communicable disease in Africa.
Frida Ghitis, a columnist for World Politics Review and a regular CNN.com opinion contributor, captured the opinion of politicians in an Op/EP piece on The Washington Post :
- …Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he first thought it was a “bad April Fool’s joke.” Ireland’s health minister called the decision “offensive and bizarre.” And an alliance of health organizations, whose members were in the hall in Montevideo when Tedros (as he is known) made the announcement, issued a joint statement saying they were “shocked and deeply concerned.” Even top WHO staff took to Twitter to complain. “Senior WHO staff dumbfounded,” noted one, adding that his colleagues were “greatly concerned” about the impact on WHO’s credibility and funding….
Frida, thinks “…the stain it [his appointment of Robert Mugabe as WHO goodwill Ambassador] has left on the WHO will not be easily cleansed…” and that his act merits investigation. If it is related to corruption in any way, Tewodros “must leave”, wrote Frida.
Campaigns are already started on change.org calling for his resignation. That came as good news for Ethiopians who campaigned against his candidacy for WHO Directorate position owing to his contribution to a regime in Ethiopia that has been committing egregious human rights violations with impunity. On the contrary, his supporters, these are mainly from his ethnic political base within the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front and patrons, are expecting something they would consider as humiliating. And it seems that Tewodros will not escape scrutiny even if he survives the issue that came up in relation to his choice for WHO goodwill ambassador.
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