The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, defended this Wednesday that the world “does not pay the same degree of attention to the lives of blacks and whites”, comparing the attention given to Ukraine and to conflicts in other countries.
Geneva | Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke at length about the situation in his home region of Tigray, whose officials have been in armed conflict with government forces since November 2020, saying he feared that the humanitarian ceasefire decreed on March 24 by the Addis Ababa government to leave humanitarian aid entering Tigray, until then isolated from everything, “is nothing more than a diplomatic maneuver”.
“All the attention paid to Ukraine is very important, of course, because (what goes on there) has an impact all over the world, but not even a fraction of that attention is given to Tigray, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and everyone else”, lamented Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference.
“I have to be direct and honest, the world does not treat the human race in the same way. Some are more equal than others”, maintained the WHO official, paraphrasing the American writer George Orwell.
“And when I say that, it hurts me (…) It’s very difficult to accept, but that’s what happens”, he insisted, saying he hopes that “the world will come to its senses and treat all human lives in the same way”.
Instead of the 2,000 aid trucks with essential goods that should have arrived in the region, “only 20 arrived in total, which represents 1% of the needs”, denounced the WHO leader.
“In practice, the siege between Ethiopian and Eritrean forces continues,” said Tedros, who is a doctor, warning that without fully free access to aid, hundreds of thousands of people could still die.
The conflict, which began in November 2020 and spread for some time beyond Tigray, has left thousands of people dead and starved millions of people, with both parties being accused of atrocities.
“What is happening in Ethiopia is tragic, people are being burned alive because of their ethnicity and nothing else, and I am not sure if this was taken seriously by the media”, commented the WHO official, adding. : “We need a balance. We must take every life seriously, because every life is precious.”
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