ESAT News (October 14, 2016)
Tedros Adhanom, the Ethiopian top diplomat running for WHO’s Director-General position had claimed in a candidature form submitted to the Organization that English was his mother tongue and rated his proficiency as excellent.
The Ethiopian foreign minister, who was born in Asmara, Eritrea, in 1965, checked the box in the form indicating English was his mother tongue.
It is not clear if Dr. Tedros, one of the six candidates for the post, had negligently filled the forms or he was claiming that English was his first language.
Dr. Tedros also put N/A (not applicable), responding to a question in the form which asks if the candidate has been found guilty of violating any law.
But activists point out the fact that Dr. Tedros is a member of the Tigraian oligarchs accountable to the killings, disappearance and incarceration of thousands of Ethiopians in the last 25 years of reign. He is a Central Committee member of Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
There has been a campaign by Ethiopians everywhere against the candidature of the malaria researcher-turn-top-diplomat, who has been part and parcel of a system that has been inflicting unimaginable sufferings to the Ethiopian people.
“Dr. Adhanom is a member of the inner circle of a ruling party whose leadership style is antithetical to democracy and respect for the rule of law. Lack of free elections in more than two decades, a fact that has been documented by numerous organizations and governments, serves as prima facie evidence of a repressive regime,” said twenty civic and political organizations in a letter to the Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for the rejection of Dr. Tedros Adhanom’s candidacy for the position of the Director General.
He is also accused of misappropriating funds meant for AIDS, TB and malaria research in Ethiopia.
According to the letter in 2010, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), a body commissioned to audit and investigate Countries receiving Funds from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), conducted an audit of Ethiopia and found “misappropriation of funds and use of donor funds for unsound and politically motivated programs.”
“Dr. Adhanom’s record as a member of the ruling party in Ethiopia and specifically his record as Minister of Health does not meet the exceedingly high standards required for a Director General of the WHO,” noted the letter by the twenty Ethiopian civic and political organizations
“It is inconceivable that failure at improving the health outcomes of one country and mismanagement of funds obtained from an organization such as the GFATM should result in one’s candidature for the leading health organization of the world,” the letter said.