According to a World Health Organization (WHO) official, the global organization would postpone a decision on Ethiopia’s request to probe its chief for allegedly helping rebellious elements against the Ethiopian government.
The comment was made by WHO Executive Board chair Patrick Amoth during a meeting of the board in Geneva, where incumbent Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ quest for a second term as head of the United Nations organization is set to be considered.
Tedros, an Ethiopian national, stated earlier this month that help was being obstructed from reaching his home province of Tigray, where rebel troops are fighting the central government.
“This is a tremendously delicate topic with political consequences that falls beyond the agreed-upon procedural framework of this committee,” Amoth added.
“As a result, I’m inclined to believe that this request should be set aside and, if appropriate, addressed by individuals affected as they see fit.”
There were no objections from any of the WHO’s 34 board members.
Tedros, who previously served as Ethiopia’s health minister and foreign minister, was accused by the country’s foreign ministry on January 14 of disseminating falsehoods about the country’s northern conflict.
Tedros’ words, according to the government, jeopardized the WHO’s reputation and independence.
Ethiopian government spokesman Legesse Tulu said Amoth’s judgment on Monday demonstrated that the WHO was biased in the affair.
In a text message to Reuters, Legesse said the government maintained its appeal for the WHO to examine Tedros.
At the time, the WHO reported that Ethiopia’s foreign affairs ministry had submitted a diplomatic message known as a note verbale.
Thousands of people were murdered in Tigray’s battle, which expanded to two neighboring areas in northern Ethiopia until Tigrayan troops were compelled to return to Tigray in December.