Noble Peace Prize Winner isn’t Who Many Thought

Meiko Johnson, Managing Editor

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize 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. 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, 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. 

Peace did not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it and helped to formalize 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 population of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Even though competing against other house-hold names like Greta Tunberg, teen climate change activist, Ali was declared victorious. His prize, not only was the physical Nobel Prize but the relationship between the two nations have been rivaling for years.