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World Health Organization (WHO) Director Tedros Adhanom faces accusations of genocide for alleged involvement in the leadership of security forces in his home country of Ethiopia.
The Times of London reported that David Steinman, a U.S. economist nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, accused the WHO leader -who was health minister from 2005 to 2012- of being one of the three leaders of the Ethiopian security forces between 2013 and 2015. After leaving that ministry, Adhanom became the foreign minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
According to the report, Steinman filed the complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, claiming that the WHO director “was a crucial decision-maker regarding the actions of the security services that included killing, arbitrary arrest and torture of Ethiopians.”
Steinman added that in one of his reports to the United States it cited “other documented crimes” accusing Adhanom of being involved in “the intimidation of opposition candidates and followers,” Among the methods used to instill fear and persecution he cites “arbitrary arrest and prolonged preventive prison terms.”
Before the OMS came the Tigray’s People Liberation Front
The government that 55-year-old Adhanom worked for was that of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a Marxist-Leninist party that played an important role in the Communist armed struggle in Ethiopia.
Before becoming the most powerful armed struggle organization in the country, the FLPT began as a student organization called the Political Association of Tigrayans. The one that later would become an ethnic nationalist organization that claimed the independence of Tigray, establishing the armed struggle as the only strategy in 1974. This is how the FLPT emerged, which quickly degenerated into Marxism and set as its goal a “popular democratic revolution.”
For almost two decades the Front dedicated itself to armed struggle, to survive among other similar groups, and to the strengthening of its troops under the Derg, a Marxist military government to which they were in opposition.
The rise of the FLTP was due to the growing ideological and warlike tensions that existed with the Derg, which increasingly frightened the Ethiopians. The FLTP saw the number of its troops and its credibility with the population increase rapidly. In addition, the Front took advantage of recurrent famines and conflicts in the development of the Ethiopian Civil War. All this constituted a formula for the Front to become the most important guerilla force in the country in the last decade of the last century.
The FLPT led the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Revolutionary Front in 1991. It was a coalition of different Marxist organizations that finally overthrew the Derg, giving it the possibility of establishing a hegemony that lasted until 2018.
The Ethiopian journalist Abebe Gellaw says that the director of the WHO was one of the three main members of the FLTP and that the party has been “responsible for all the corruption, assassinations, torture, massive detentions, appropriation of land or displacement.” The most serious claim is not this one, but the one that implicates Tedros Adhanom, then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, as one of the main architects in a plan to kidnap dissidents of the Ethiopian regime at the main airport in Yemen.
Tenure at the WHO
In a review of Tedros Adhanom’s record, Fox News reported that the bureaucrat applauded China’s regime leader, Xi Jinping, for his efforts to contain and control the coronavirus originating in Wuhan.
According to Lawrence Gostin of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Adhanom has had this kind of complacent and negligent attitude when he was health minister in Ethiopia. Gostin claims that the current WHO director concealed figures on cholera outbreaks in the country, which are common because of the mismanagement of the health system.
Gellaw denounces that the WHO director lies in his curriculum. She argues that Adhanom “is promoting its dubious successes: it defeated malaria, destroyed HIV, reduced infant mortality, built thousands and thousands of clinics.” However, he added, “they never talk about the reality behind those exaggerated figures.”
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017