(GIN) – As member states are preparing to vote for one of three final candidates seeking the top position at the World Health Organization, Ethiopians on social media are battling it out with government over the nomination of a well-funded candidate for the top spot.
In the official bio of Dr. Tedros Adhanom, he is a visionary leader (who) guided Ethiopia and numerous global health organizations to achieve game-changing results and increase their impact.
“He transformed Ethiopia’s health system to expand quality care and access to tens of millions of Ethiopians, and helped key global actors like The Global Fund and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness.
“As Director-General, Dr. Tedros’ vision, collaborative approach and proven effectiveness will help WHO better protect the health of all people.”
Minister Dr. Tedros also received support from the African Union’s Executive Council.
But critics of Dr. Tedros have been using Twitter to claim that he’s part of the inner circle of the regime well known for its systematic patterns of political repression and egregious human rights violations against Ethiopian citizen.
“The abysmal human rights record of the Ethiopian regime is very well documented by all the major international rights groups (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Freedom House) as well as by the U.S. State Department in its annual human rights report,” the critics assert.
Dr. Tedros is running against David Nabarro of the UK who has held the post of special adviser to the U.N. Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and Climate Change, and Sania Nishtar of Pakistan – “best known for bold and transformational leadership in health… A combination of high-level experience in government, civil society and in multilateral institutions, as well as her background as a physician, scientist and thought leader on public health, uniquely position her to drive the reform of the WHO, ensuring its fitness to deal with the challenges of the 21st century. “
The crucial election will decide the fate of the public health body which has suffered after gross mishandling of the Ebola outbreak, where WHO was too slow and ineffective to respond the outbreak, leading to 11,000 preventable deaths.
Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights paid an official visit to Ethiopia this week, and expressed his concern over the misuse of legislations in Ethiopia to suppress human rights and basic freedoms.
At a press briefing, Al Hussein said that his team was unable to access and investigate concerns related to human rights in Oromia and Amhara regions where there were widespread accusations of arrests and rights violations starting from the end of 2015.
He urged the Prime Minister to hold accountable the security forces who allegedly used excessive force during the Oromia protest.