Addis Abeba – Tedros Adhanom (PhD), Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said Eritrean troops have killed his uncle and “more than 50” others in a village in the Tigray regional state, in Northern Ethiopia.
Dr. Tedros revealed his loss at a press briefing to journalists about COVID-19 pandemic, in Geneva. He told reporters that he nearly cancelled the event because he was “not in good shape” after hearing of his uncle’s “murder.”
Later on, the Director General tweeted saying that last weekend, he found out that his uncle was murdered by the Eritrean army while he was in his own house. “It is another painful loss for my family due to the ongoing violence in Tigray, Ethiopia. Peace is all the people and families need,” he added.
On Sunday 11 December, the Director General tweeted that “Eritrean forces continue to massacre civilians in Tigray, Ethiopia despite the peace agreement” but provided no further details. Yesterday, he spoke of his uncle’s murder, adding that in addition to him, more than 50 people were also killed “just arbitrarily” in the same village by Eritrean troops. “Last Saturday, I was informed that mu uncle was murdered by Eritrean army. And I spoke to my mother and she was really devastated because he was the youngest from their family; he was almost same age with me,” he said, expressing hope that “the peace agreement will hold and this madness would stop.”
This is the second time that the WHO head spoke about a personal loss due to a member of his family being killed by the Eritrean soldiers. Last year, New York Times reported that he had lost relatives in the war that has ravaged the Tigray region. He has also been repeatedly expressing his concerns that he has been unable to reach his relatives back home, or send them money.
The latest accusation by WHO head against Eritrean troops came amidst similar statements from Tigrayan officials that despite the peace agreement they signed with the federal government, which stipulates the concurrent withdrawal of foreign and non-ENDF forces with disarmament of heavy weapons by Tigrayan combatants, Eritrean soldiers continued to commit atrocities on civilians in areas of the Tigray region that they illegally occupy. The federal government has not commented on the accusations. AS