Published: Thursday 15 June 1995

A 12- nation African group headed by Zambia and Namibia is gunning for Hiroshi Nakajima, the World Health Organization (WHO) chief. Nakajima has offended the Africans by allegedly making some unpardonable remarks about them at a WHO staff meeting.

He reportedly objected to transferring Africans to WHO headquarters, invoking problems "with language and culture" and saying that while some Africans are good speakers, "for drafting, editing and writing documents, sometimes it's difficult".

The outraged health ministers of the African group have accused Nakajima of "racial prejudice" leading to an under- representation of Africans in senior posts at WHO'S Geneva headquarters. They have pre- pared '~ draft resolution demanding that the post of deputy director-general, which is presently vacant, should be filled by an African. But they are convinced that Ist Nakajima should atone for his sins by resigning from his post.

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