General Research #21424 >>17478490
WHO chief and TPLF leader Tedros silent about Tigrayan theft of World Food Program fuel
UN World Health Organization chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus is also the world’s most prominent advocate of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front. He has said nothing about the TPLF’s recent theft of fuel intended for UN relief efforts in Ethiopia.
On the morning of August 24th, fighting in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region shattered a ceasefire in a nearly two-year war between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Then, in the late afternoon of August 24th, UN World Food Program (WFP) Chief David Beasley tweeted shocking news:
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, had included more detail in his August 24, 2022 briefing. According to Dujarric, after the TPLF broke into World Food Programme facilities, it overwhelmed UN staffers and stolen 12 fuel tanker trucks:
“I was asked what the impact of the renewed fighting was having. This morning, on August 24th, a World Food Programme warehouse in Mek’ele was forcibly entered by Tigrayan forces who took 12 fuel trucks/tankers with 570,000 liters of fuel. The team on the ground unsuccessfully tried to prevent this looting.
These stocks of fuel were to be used solely for humanitarian purposes, with the distribution of food, fertilizer, and other emergency relief items. This loss of fuel will impact humanitarian operations in supporting communities in all of Northern Ethiopia.
We condemn any looting or confiscation of humanitarian goods or humanitarian premises, and we call on all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and to respect humanitarian personnel, activities, assets, and goods.”
The TPLF, who control Tigray regional state, have always claimed to represent the people of Tigray, who are no doubt suffering as a consequence of the war. But the faction’s brazen heist of fuel needed for humanitarian relief operations makes it difficult to believe it actually cares about the conflict’s human toll.
Tedros uses his UN post to lobby for his TPLF party
Tedros served as the TPLF’s Health Minister from October 2005 to November 2012, and its Foreign Minister from November 2012 to November 2016, while it held power in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Eight months after leaving the foreign ministry, in July 2017, he was appointed as the World Health Organization’s Director General and thus, beginning in 2020, the manager of the global coronavirus pandemic.
In 2018, a year after Tedros assumed his post at the WHO, a popular uprising ousted the TPLF from power, after which they retreated to Tigray. Ethiopia’s parliament then elected Abiy Ahmed as prime minister; he won a popular election two years later.
In November 2020, in a seeming bid to return to power, the TPLF attacked fellow soldiers at Ethiopia’s Northern Command Base, initiating the ongoing civil war. Prime Minister Ahmed immediately dispatched national troops to Tigray to stop the insurrection but withdrew them in July 2021. The TPLF then invaded Amhara and Afar regional states, until the Ethiopian national army and regional forces drove them back into Tigray and the Ethiopian government declared the humanitarian truce that ended on August 24th.
Throughout this time, no one has been more vocal and visible than Tedros in accusing the Ethiopian government of deliberately fomenting a humanitarian crisis in Tigray, blockading food aid to Tigray, and even committing genocide in the region. He has never, however, acknowledged the pain and displacement that the TPLF has inflicted on Amharas and Afaris.
Throughout April and May of this year, I traveled through Amhara and Afar regional states and saw thousands huddled in IDP camps, all in dire need of food, water, medicine, and sanitation.
Around this time, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center reported, “Conflict and violence triggered more than 5.1 million new displacements in Ethiopia in 2021, three times the number in 2020 and the highest annual figure ever recorded for a single country. The conflict in the northern region of Tigray deepened, spreading to neighboring regions and uprooting millions of people from their homes.”