PM Abiy Awarded as Noble Peace Prize Laureate 2019

Addis Ababa The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.

According to the committee, the prize is also meant to recognize all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea.

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.

Thus, it added an important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed's unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002.

Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone, the committee stated, and added When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, and President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalize the peace process between the two countries.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee expressed its hope that the peace agreement will help to bring about positive change for the entire populations of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

However, even if much work remains in Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future.

Moreover, he spent his first 100 days as Prime Minister lifting the country's state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalizing outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life and pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.

The committee recognizes the Premier's engagement in other peace and reconciliation processes in East and Northeast Africa in the wake of the peace process with Eritrea.

Abiy and the Ethiopian government's active contribution to the normalization of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Djibouti after many years of political hostility, and mediation between Kenya and Somalia in their protracted conflict are few to mention.

Similarly, Prime Minister Abiy played a key role in the process that led to the agreement in Sudan.

The military regime and the opposition have returned to the negotiating table and they released a joint draft of a new constitution intended to secure a peaceful transition to civil rule in the country. Prime Minister Abiy played a key role in the process that led to the agreement.

As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice.

Many challenges remain unresolved, ethnic strife continues to escalate, and we have seen troubling examples of this in recent weeks and months, the committee noted.

No doubt some people will think this year's prize is being awarded too early, it stated, and noted the Norwegian Nobel Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed's efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation.

A peaceful, stable and successful Ethiopia, which is Africa's second most populous country and has East Africa's largest economy, will have many positive side-effects, and will help to strengthen fraternity among nations and peoples in the region.

Source: Ethiopia News agency