ON Friday, Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, was conferred the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize by the Nobel committee for his peacemaking efforts which ended twenty years of hostility between his country Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Ahmed, the first Ethiopian to be awarded a Nobel Prize was commended by the Nobel committee for his efforts in restarting the peace talks with Eritrea that ultimately resolved the crisis between the two countries.
“In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Peace Laureate Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future. As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice,” the Nobel committee stated in a Twitter post.
The two nations have ethnic and cultural ties, but decades of animosity between them had torn families apart and worsened Eritrea’s isolation as a repressive country.
Over 100,000 people were estimated to have been killed in cross-border attacks between the two countries in twenty years.
A peace treaty was signed by both countries at a summit that took place between July 8-9, 2018 in Eritrea, leading to a gradual and beneficial friendship between both countries.
It is the second year in a row an African is being named as winner of the prestigious prize. Ahmed will become the 100th Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, where he will receive the award in December.
The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was jointly awarded to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege. Murad, a 26-year-old Yazidi woman, was honoured for her support towards women who survived sexual and domestic violence from Islamic State militants.
Mukwege is a Congolese gynaecologist, who was honoured for treating thousands of women and other victims of the violence in the Congo.
The Nobel committee said this year’s peace prize also honoured those who contributed to resolving the cross-border conflicts across East Africa.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.