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Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe removed as WHO goodwill ambassador after outcry

Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, leaves the podium after speaking during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. Seth Wenig/The Associated Press

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been removed as a WHO goodwill ambassador, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday following an outrage among donors and rights groups at his appointment.

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who made the appointment at a high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Uruguay on Wednesday, said in a statement that he had listened to those expressing concerns.

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“Over the last few days, I have reflected on my appointment of H.E. President Robert Mugabe as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for NCDs in Africa. As a result I have decided to rescind the appointment,” Tedros said in a statement posted on his Twitter account @DrTedros.

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