The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has spoken of his personal pain over the worsening conflict in his home country of Ethiopia.
At a WHO news conference on Monday, Dr. Ghebreyesus said that he did not know the whereabouts of many of his family members, including his younger brother.
“2020 has been very difficult for me because my country is in trouble. My country Ethiopia is in trouble and the devastating war that is happening in home region Tigray… I have many relatives there, including my younger brother, I don’t know where they are, I haven’t communicated with them,” said Dr. Ghebreyesus.
“As if Covid is not enough I have that personal pain also. I worry about my country.”
In November the Ethiopian military accused Dr. Ghebreyesus of trying to get weapons for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is fighting Ethiopian government forces in Tigray.
Dr. Ghebreyesus, who served in the government when it was dominated by the TPLF, denied the allegations.
Government forces took control of the capital of Tigray, Mekelle, on 28 November, but access to, and communication with Tigray remains restricted.