Months after US President Donald Trump accused WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom of working in tandem with China to coverup the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, American economist and Nobel peace prize nominee David Steinman has made serious allegations against Tedros in connection to genocide in his home country of Ethiopia.
As per reports, David Steinman has accused the WHO chief of aiding in Ethiopian genocide by being a key decision-maker in the actions of the security forces in the country between 2013-2015. He added that Tedros was one of the three top officials who directed the killing, detaining and torturing of Amhara, Konso, Oromo and Somali tribes, with the intention of ethnic cleansing, during the said period.
He further alleged that Tedros was a part of a regime that committed ‘widespread/systematic crimes against humanity’ through its subordinates. David Steinman also accused the WHO Chief of intimidating opposition party leaders and supporters through ‘arbitrary arrest’ and ‘pre-trial detentions.’ Ethiopia witnessed widespread protests in Oromia region in November 2015 and Amhara region in July 2016, resulting in security clampdown that killed over 500 civilians.
David Steinman files case against WHO Chief in International Criminal Court
To substantiate his claims, the American economist has also cited a 2016 US government report which said, “civilian authorities at times did not maintain control over the security forces, and local police in rural areas and local militias sometimes acted independently.”
David, who served as foreign adviser of the democracy movement in Ethiopia until 2018 and an exconsulting expert to the US National Security Council, has now lodged a complaint with the International Criminal Court of Justice in Hague. The case will only proceed in the Court if it is adopted by the prosecutors.
Army Chief of Ethiopia accuses Tedros Adhanom of backing rebel groups
Earlier, Berhanu Jula, the army chief of Ethiopia, had accused the WHO Chief of providing military and political support to rebel group to the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). While emphasising that Tedros left no stone unturned to help the group, Jula said, “He has worked in neighbouring countries to condemn the war. He has worked for them to get weapons. What do you expect from him? We don’t expect he will side with the Ethiopian people and condemn them “
Tedros Adhanom denies charges
In his defence, the WHO Chief denied any wrongdoing on his part. Last month, he claimed, “There have been reports suggesting that I am taking sides in this situation (in Tigray). This is not true and I want to say that I am on only one side and that is the side of peace.”
It is also important to mention that the WHO chief was the Foreign Minister of Ethiopia until 2016, during the Tigray People’s Liberation Front regime. He had also served as the country’s Health Minister between 2005-2012 prior to his elevation to the post of WHO Chief in 2017.
Conduct of Tedros during the Coronavirus pandemic
The WHO found itself at a tough spot in the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. It has been accused of ‘siding with’ the Chinese government and aiding the Chinese regime by many around the world. WHO and its director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have come under severe criticism for their conduct since the pandemic broke out in China. The organization took long enough in declaring it a pandemic, leading to countries not being vigilant enough on time.
In January, WHO had endorsed the conclusion of Chinese authorities that the Novel Coronavirus does not spread from person to person, and stated that it does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers to and from Wuhan. WHO also ignored Taiwan which had informed them that it has evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus.
Taiwan wrote to WHO on the 31st of December, but WHO kept denying human-to-human transmission till mid-January. Experts are of the view that this laxity and callousness is responsible for the catastrophe that has struck the world and that the organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, like China’s Xi Jinping, should be held accountable for recklessly managing this deadly pandemic.