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article imageMugabe WHO appointment 'contradicts UN ideals': US

By AFP     Oct 21, 2017 in Politics

The United States on Saturday sharply criticized the appointment of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a World Health Organization goodwill ambassador, saying it "contradicts United Nations ideals."

"The United States government has sanctioned President Mugabe due to crimes against his people and the threat he poses to peace and stability," the US State Department said in a statement.

"This appointment clearly contradicts the United Nations ideals of respect for human rights and human dignity."

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the UN health agency, this week asked Zimbabwe's 93-year-old authoritarian leader to serve in the role to help tackle non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and asthma across Africa.

The decision triggered confusion and anger among key WHO member states and activists who noted that Zimbabwe's health care system, like many of its public services, has collapsed under Mugabe's regime.

Faced with a wage of criticism over the appointment, Ghebreyesus said Saturday that he was "rethinking" his decision.

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