“No” to Tedros Adhanom’s candidacy to the GD post at WHO

Dear Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia alike. The foreign minister of the incumbent TPLF regime, Tedros Adhanom, has made his bid for the candidacy of the directorship of the World Health Organization. We are of the opinion that Tedros, who has not served the people of his country with a sense of fairness & is guilty of crimes as a member of a heinous apartheid regime responsible for perpetrating genocide against our people, should not be allowed to assume a honorable position in such an august body. So please join us in signing this petition to block his election as a director of WHO. Thank you for your cooperation.

Why We Oppose the Candidacy of Dr. Tedros Adhanom of Ethiopia as WHO Director-General?

Here follows a catalogue of crimes, of which Dr. Tedros Adhanom is guilty, as one of the leaders of the incumbent TPLF regime. We kindly request the august body of WHO to take into account the following facts while considering the candidacy of Dr. Tedros, Ethiopia’s candidate for the function of directorship of WHO.

1 – Sterilization of Members of a Targeted Amara Ethnic Group to Cause Demographic Decline

The ministry of health headed by Tedros has been promoting the unethical practice of sterilizing young women who belong to the Amara ethnic group (one of the two major ethnic groups of Ethiopia) without informing these Amara women. These young Amara women were subjected to this massive sterilization campaign without their prior informed consent. This is a deliberate policy of genocide that has targeted the Amara ethnic group for the last 25 years. The Ethiopian government has later admitted that 2,4 million Amaras were missing and were unaccounted for. The last 2007 census resulted in a population count that fell far short of the projected population growth of Amaras.

2 – Very Skewed Distribution of Resources and Medical Services in Ethiopia

Tewodros presides over a ministry which ethnically favors the ethnic region i.e. Tigrai from which he hails as witness the major disparities in the allocation of resources and development of health infrastructure in the Tigrai region and other parts of Ethiopia. Tigrai region, with a population of 6 million people, boasts 14 hospitals most of them built after TPLF came to power in May 1991 whereas the Amara region with a population of more than 22 million depends on 17 hospitals, most of them with just outdated and rudimentary health facilities.

3 – Skewed Vaccination Coverage Policy & Child Health under the apartheid TPLF Regime

When we look at the vaccination coverage by region in present-day Ethiopia, the following skewed picture emerges that tells a lot about the apartheid-like system which condemns millions of Ethiopian children to premature death. Here follows the data pertaining to vaccination coverage in different ethnic regions of Ethiopia. Tigray (60.8%); Amara (26,7%); Oromia (16.3%); Southern Nations, Nationalities & peoples (24,3%) à Source : Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey 2011. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and: Central Statistical Agency & ICF International Calverton, Maryland, USA

4 – Ethno-regional variations in under-five year mortality rates (death per 1000 live births)

Under-five mortality rates show that Tigraim the ethnic region from which Tewodros hails has better performance in terms of low under-five year death or mortality rate than other ethnic regions as can be gleaned from the following research data. The data has been published as the Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey (DHS) 2011 which can be easily accessed on the internet. See here the under-five years mortality rates for the different regions of Ethiopia given as follows: Tigrai (85); Amara (108); Oromo (112); Southern Nations & Peoples SNNP (116); Somali (122); Gambella (123); Afar (127); Benishangul (169) respectively. As can ben seen the difference is statistically significant. The reader needs to know that Tigrai is the least naturally-endowed region compared to most of the other regions of Ethiopia. Yet Tigrai shows a better performance due to ethnic favoritism, disproportionate allocation of resources by the ruling TPLF party. TPLF is exclusively composed of natives of Tigrai such as Dr. Tedros Adhanom. The Tigrean case reflects the disproportionate allocation of resources to the ethnically favored region of Tigrai. We do not see similar improvements in regions such as Oromo, Amara and Southern areas which have a much better resource base than Tigrai. The Oromo, Amara & SNNP regions have a similar demographic profile with a similar percentage of rural and urban populations. Nothing explains this disparity between Tigrai and these three regions other than the apartheid policy of the incumbent regime in Ethiopia that has favored Tigrai during the last 25 years. Tewodros Adhanom has been a major architect of an apartheid system of government in Ethiopia & as such he cannot be expected to serve an august body such as WHO – whose practice are informed by universalist values of fairness, equality as opposed to ethnocentrism.

5 – Use of Medical Personnel & Drugs to Torture Political Prisoners in Ethiopia

Today the TPLF government, of which Tedros is a senior figure, has incarcerated tens of thousands of Amara and Oromo youth who have peacefully protested against the apartheid policies of economic, political and social marginalization imposed on them during the last 25 years. As we write this report, more than ten thousand Amara youths herded into the notorious Birr valley military base are currently subjected to severe torture. Medical personnel are involved in the tortures using psychiatric drugs by way of rendering these prisoners susceptible to the pressure they put on them to make self-confessions & sign false declarations in which they admit, albeit under duress, the alleged crimes they committed against the incumbent state. Similar violations that violate the sanctity of human life are being perpetrated against innocent Oromo youth held in countless prisons for peacefully protesting discrimination, marginalization, and dehumanization. The picture is similar in the Ogaden and southern regions of Ethiopia.

6 – Dismantling of Health Institutions to Cause Harm to Population Groups Dubbed Enemies

Ethiopia is a country where approximately 75% of its land mass is prone to the transmission of malaria. Particularly the areas under 2000 meters of altitude are vulnerable to malaria epidemics. In 1995 the incumbent TPLF regime, of which Tedros is a leading member, dismantled the Ethiopian Malaria Prevention & Control Service which has been in established in 1958 with the help of WHO & US government to Ethiopia. Following the dismantling of this important national health institution, in the period 1997 millions of Ethiopians living in areas south of the Tigrai region, where 94% of the Ethiopian people live, were deliberately exposed to malaria epidemics. This led to the death of tens of thousands of Ethiopians in the major regions of Ethiopia such as Amara (the population living in 905 peasant associations), Oromia (a population living in 550 peasant associations) & SNNP were affected. At the height of the malaria epidemic crisis, in the Gojjam area of the Amara region that was hit most by the malaria epidemics, on a daily basis as many as 5 people were dying in one peasant association alone. 50% of the hospital beds in cities like Bahir Dar were occupied by patients suffering from malaria.15000 people affected by Malaria in Northern Omo region & 4000 patients afflicted by malaria in the North Shewa district of Mekoy district of Northern were given treatment according to Ethiopian News Agency. Particularly people living in the Amara & Oromo regions, where more than 65% of the Ethiopian people live, were deliberately exposed to death and suffering. All this came right on the heels of the dismantling of the Ethiopian Malaria Prevention Service by TPLF. On the other hand the Malaria Prevention Service in Tigray region i.e. the ethnic region from which Teworos hails, was revamped and further strengthened with the opening of a second regional Malaria Prevention & Control Service office, equipment, drugs, etc. (For details see Dr. Assefa Negash’s article entitled “Ethnic Regionalization & Its Ramification on Health: A Study of Malaria Epidemics in Ethiopia”, Ethiopian Register magazine, August 1997)

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