The crimes of Tedros Adhanom, director general of the WHO
WHO's Tedros Adhanom is expected to be tried for crimes against humanity.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in addition to being the first director of the WHO without a medical degree, also has a "political background" compared to his predecessors. On his online biography, WHO exalts his qualifications as Ethiopian health minister from 2002 to 2012, impressive stuff.
Aside from his medical credentials, Tedros is a member of the "Tigray People's Liberation Front”(TPLF), a peaceful organization as the name suggests. Founded as a communist revolutionary party, it came to power in 1991, waged a guerrilla campaign against the Mengistu dictatorship and then formed a coalition with the other two ethnic parties after his exile.
Over time, the TPLF has begun to exert more and more influence over the other two sides. Most military generals and key leaders within the government are from Tigray, including the Prime Minister who ruled the country for 21 years before his death. The Tigray represent only 6% of the population of Ethiopia, one of the main ethnic groups are the Amhara, who had mainly formed the Mengistu regime.
The favorable treatment under Mengistu has created much resentment towards the Amhara by other ethnic groups such as that of Oromo. Tedros himself comes from the Tigray region and is an elderly member of the party, which he had joined since the removal of Mengistu. The same party as in his 1968 poster defined the people of the Amhrara as their "eternal enemy".
Was Tedros an elderly member? Of course, the Tigraionline he listed him as the third most important member of the standing committee of the politbureau, which gives the impression that he was more important than a simple medical administrator.
The TPLF was classified a terrorist organization by the United States government in the 90s and is still cataloged today as a member of the Global Terror Database, due to his stubborn habit of carrying out armed assaults in rural areas.
The Amhara people denounced systematic discrimination and human rights violations by the current government. "Humans Rights Watch" in 2010 has written a report on how aid in the form of food and fertilizers has been banned from local villagers in Amhara because of their affiliations with the opposition party. Other forms of refusal of aid involved the refusal of emergency health care by the ministry of health workers; the same ministry that was led by Tedros Adhanom at the time.
The Amhara People's Union, a Washington-based group of activists, has made many other accusations of human rights violations against the TPLF-led government, including the fact that birth rates in the Amhara region were much lower than those found in other regions. In a session of the Ethiopian parliament they observed that about 2 million Amhara have "disappeared" from the population census.
Not content with denying help to political dissidents, Tedros was also health minister at a time when the regime was accused of hiding epidemics. A cholera outbreak spread to the region in 2007, affecting thousands of people in neighboring countries. At the time of the outbreak in Ethiopia, the government simply renamed the epidemic and called it "Acute Watery Diarrhea" (AWD). International organizations were put under pressure to avoid defining it as cholera (despite the United Nations having identified the infected virus), as well as public employees not to disclose the number of infected. Another extraordinary victory for the health minister.
The deadly famine that hit Ethiopia in the 80s had forever associated the country with the cholera epidemic, but the ignoble mark is not just a thing of the past. WHO itself, after pages of flamboyant reports on how Ethiopia's health sector was going, admitted that in 2016 at least 8,6 million people still needed food aid to survive and that the situation had not improved he last four years. So at the end of Tedros' illustrious political mandate, the country could boast a net remaining 8% of the population, which would have starved to death because it was deprived of foreign aid.
But after his brilliant achievements in healthcare, Tedros had bigger fish to fry. In 2012, he was appointed foreign minister and immediately cracked down on journalists and government opponents, including an attempt to extradite those who fled into exile in Yemen. The two countries also entered into negotiations to track down and expel dissidents from Yemen and imprison them in Ethiopia. Tedros himself led these negotiations, a photograph of his talks with the Yemeni foreign minister also attests.
One such case was a British citizen Andy Tsege, arrested at Sana'a airport and sentenced to death twice in Ethiopia. This required the British government involvement who threatened to deny aid to Ethiopia unless he was granted asylum. Tedros replied that Tsege was "treated very well. He also owns a laptop, have you ever heard of a political prisoner with a laptop? " Andy obviously, after his return to the UK, told a completely different story, claiming to have been tortured for days and days, along with dozens of other prisoners.
One of the reasons why Tedros' qualifications as Foreign Minister are absent from some of his online CVs, could be due to the mass protests that swept the country in 2016. The Ethiopian government a few years earlier had revealed a master plan to take over 1000 miles of land to be offered to international contractors at subsidized rates. This also involved the forced relocation of 15.000 people from the Oromia region, an operation that the government declared "profitable" because the region currently "lacked infrastructure".
But the "ungrateful" forcibly transferred did not appreciate the huge favor that the government was doing to them, and the mass protests erupted violently during the Irreechaa cultural festival in Bishoftu, on October 2, 2016. The police initially responded with gas tear gas, and then with mass shootings. The violent crackdown resulted in the death of around 500 protesters, according to "Human Rights Watch". The government then declared a state of emergency, arresting around 70.000 people, and forcing dozens of opposition journalists into exile.
After open letter addressed to Foreign Minister Adhanom Tedros by "Human Rights Watch", who cited his complaint to the European Parliament, the minister first denied that the numbers of the dead were so high, and also claimed that the police were unarmed, shamelessly contesting the mass murder, testified in truth by a video. But although not an expert, I suppose that the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs must have found a decidedly innovative way, with provisions in assault rifle mode to keep the crowd at bay, which is absolutely non-lethal, but truly miraculous.
This would therefore be the noble figure, who since 2017 has held the position of director of the WHO. Then not to miss even an opportunity to defend mass murderers previously he had protested against the trial that the ICC (International Court of The Hague) was carrying out against Uhuru Kenyatta, who came to power with electoral fraud and whose Fifth Brigade had killed 1.300 civilians. Not surprisingly, one of the first things Tedros did after taking office was to name Robert Mugabe - fortunately now dead - goodwill ambassador to the WHO. A man who ordered to kill 20.000 civilians in Zimbabwe in the 80s.
Tedros obviously takes every possible opportunity to praise the good governance of China and, given the respect for human rights in the People's Republic, it is no wonder that he likes them so much. From projects such as media propaganda centers, mass deportations and social credit style assessment sheets, Ethiopia's governance resembles in many expressions a carbon copy of the Chinese authoritarian model. Identify the state with the single party and favor profit rather than human rights.
Ethiopia, until recently, has remained one of the states that have most violated human rights in the world, receiving a score of 19/100 on the human freedom index for 2018 and a score of 150/180 for freedom of the press. The government has remained in power since 1991 and has probably been so popular that it has won every plebiscite with 100% of the votes.
How did a man with a resume like Tedros' become WHO director? It is actually quite simple, the WHO has been involved in numerous scandals for some time. Faced with almost insignificant budget increases in the 90s, WHO turned to the business sector for additional funding and since 2008 corporate donations have gone up to 80% in the organization's budget.
According to health researcher Soniah Shah, the role played by large pharmaceutical companies in defining global health policy has created serious conflicts of interest, because while on the one hand it improves the public image of companies, on the other it favors their financial interests. This led to lobbying to weaken patent laws for new drugs in India, and to block laws in South Africa that attempted to make treatment for HIV more accessible.
The organization's serious misallocation of funds was made more evident in 2016, when it was found that the WHO was spending $ 200 million per year in travel expenses, not including those paid by the host country. Another absolutely harmful report released by the Associated Press reported that WHO employees working to alleviate the cholera epidemic in Yemen had effectively stolen funds from officials. Some of these workers were not even removed from their jobs afterwards.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation played an important role in promotion of Tedros. After their huge investments in health programs in Ethiopia that Tedros had facilitated, the foundation wished to promote similar programs globally and donated billions to WHO for this purpose.
The appointment of someone as profoundly unqualified as Tedros owes much to the labyrinthine structure of the WHO appointment process. The director is selected by the board of directors, which in turn is appointed by a rotating minority of the Assembly, made up of health ministers appointed by world governments. WHO therefore has the same problem as many other global institutions, where the director is an appointee of an appointee, an emissary of someone who could have been legitimately elected. So when you get to the director, the democratic mandate has been so small that it is almost meaningless.
Of course, the media portrayed Tedros as a venerable personality, awarded an ethical mission, in order to cure the world's deadliest diseases. The slogan for his election campaign on Twitter repeated that "it is time for an African to lead the WHO". In fact, it was enough if he had not been the African of a regime that had spent the last few years killing, deporting and forcing more Africans into exile than almost everyone else.
Some objections pointed out that the director general has little power over the current WHO policy, which does not take into account the fact that the organization is accepted as a global health authority and advises world governments. Mismanagement of the WHO through people like Tedros has totally exacerbated the global coronavirus pandemic. Tedros not only identified all the opportunities to praise the CCP's crisis management, even while doctors were arrested and armored people inside their homes; he also gave completely contradictory advice.
First of all by stating that countries should not have restricted travel to and from China in order not to discriminate, and then, soon after, blaming them for not doing enough for prevention. The virus was called a "pandemic" only a few days before I wrote about my post.
If there has ever been an example of the failure of globalized institutions, WHO is unquestionably so. I do not mean that the organization has not done anything good, but the vastness of its mismanagement means that its advice should not be taken literally, given the scientific authority that the world has assigned it. Instead of allowing them to censure digital media, they should be radically reformed or simply dissolved.
In a healthy world, instead of leading a global organization, Tedros and his cronies would have been tried at the International Criminal Court, tried for their crimes and, if found guilty, would have had to spend the rest of their lives in prison.
1. Tigrai Online, list of members of the Tigray Popular Liberation Front
2. Biography of the WHO of Tedros
3. The Amhara People's Union case against Tedros Adhanom and alleged crimes
4. Article on ethnic clashes in Ethiopia
5. Tedros was born in the Tigray region of Ethiopia
6. TPLF has defined Amhara as the number one enemy
8. The Ethiopian government denies aid as part of a political repression campaign.
9. Open letter from Human Rights Watch to Tedros
10. Video showing Oromia Festival
11. Human rights, the video report on the Oromia massacre.
12. World Bank 2006 report on corruption in Ethiopia, Chapter 2 of the healthcare sector
13. Overview of corruption in Ethiopia
14. The government seizes the lands and transfers 15000 people
15. Washington Post report on the coverage of the cholera epidemic
16. TPLF listed as a terrorist organization
17. Terrorist incidents of the TPLF
18. Tortured prisoners who were denied health care in Ethiopia 2015
19. Tedros criticized the ICU for trying the Kenyans
21. Abduction of Andargarchew Tsege
22. British government warning letter to Ethiopia
23. Tedros played a key role in the kidnapping
24. Tortured Ethiopian dissident
25. NYT report on censorship of three cholera outbreaks
26. Robert Mugabe ordered the killings of 20.000 civilians in the 80s
27. Tedros appointed Mugabe goodwill ambassador in 2017
29. Bill Gates works in Ethiopia