ETHIOPIA’S PRIME minister Abiy Ahmed Ali has been awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Ali, the 100th recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was recognised for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, with particular emphasis on his work to resolve the border conflict with Eritrea.
The prize is also intended to recognise the work of all stakeholders who are playing a part in achieving peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.
When he was elected in April 2018, Abiy was adamant about his desire to resume peace talks with Eritrea. In July last year Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace deal, bringing an end to the border conflict between the two countries, which had lasted for almost two decades.
In a statement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said: “In close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the president of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long ‘no peace, no war’ stalemate between the two countries. These principles are set out in the declarations that prime minister Abiy and president Afwerki signed in Asmara and Jeddah last July and September. An important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed’s unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002.”
The committee added: “Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When prime minister Abiy reached out his hand, president Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries. The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes the peace agreement will help to bring about positive change for the entire populations of Ethiopia and Eritrea.”
Abiy, 43, said on Twitter: “I am humbled by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. My deepest gratitude to all committed and working for peace. This award is for Ethiopia and the African continent. We shall prosper in peace!”
The award will be presented to Abiy in December.