October 2, 2022

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WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus says his ‘starving’ family is going through tough times: I don’t even know who died

Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), has revealed that he cannot send money to his “starving” relatives in the war-torn Tigray region of Ethiopia.

I have many relatives there. I want to send them money. I can’t send them money. I don’t even know who died or who is alive“, said Tedros Ghebreyesus, in a press conference, BBC reports, quoted by News.ro.

Since the war began in 2020, the region has been cut off from the outside world, with no phone or internet connection.

Ethiopia’s government has been accused of imposing an aid embargo in the region that has prevented essential supplies – a decision it has blamed on the ongoing conflict.

Tens of thousands of civilians have died and millions of people are in urgent need of food aid. The World Food Program says about half of Tigray’s population of 5.5 million is in “severe” need for food.

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

WHO chief: “The humanitarian crisis in Tigray is worse than the one in Ukraine”

It is not the first time that Dr. Tedros, former Ethiopian Minister of Health, talks about the war. He said on Wednesday that the situation was worse than the one in Ukraine and suggested that racism was behind the difference in the global response.

The humanitarian crisis in Tigray is worse than the one in Ukraine, without any exaggeration. And I said it many months ago, maybe the reason is the skin color of the people of Tigray“, continued Ghebreyesus.

In 2020, the WHO official denied accusations by an Ethiopian general that he helped procure weapons for the rebels in Tigray.

There have been reports suggesting that I am on the side of a certain camp in this situation. This is not true,” he tweeted at the time.

Fighting resumed this week after months of calm following a humanitarian truce agreed in March between forces in Tigray and the Ethiopian government.

A spokesman for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Getachew Reda, told the BBC’s Newsday program that heavy fighting was still taking place and the people of Tigray were suffering.

The war in Tigray broke out in 2020

The TPLF blames the Ethiopian army for the outbreak of the conflict, while Ethiopia blames the TPLF.

We have people starving because of the siege imposed by the Addis Ababa authorities and their partners in crime. We have people who are in desperate need of humanitarian aidGetachew said.

It would be reckless of us to start a war when, in fact, our people need humanitarian aid“, he argued.

The government did not respond to the BBC’s requests to provide statements in this regard.

Residents of Kobo, a town about 25 km away from some of the fighting areas, described what they saw amid the fresh outbreak of violence.

We hear the sounds of heavy weapons. They can still be heard. The war has already escalated. An additional defense force also enters the area“, said a resident of Kobo.

The community is confused and some flee to the nearby town. But most remain with the federal defense force and the Amhara special force to face the events that follow”, said a man from Kobo.

The Tigray war broke out in Ethiopia’s northernmost region in November 2020 – later spreading south into the Amhara and Afar regions.

Thousands of people have been killed, more than two million people have fled their homes and approximately 700,000 people are living in “famine-like conditions”, according to US officials.

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