Victory for the Horn of Africa: Abiy Ahmed

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Victory for the Horn of Africa: Abiy Ahmed

Thursday, 17 October 2019 | Dr Neha Sinha

The Nobel Prize is awarded to people "who have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind" in the previous twelve months, and is given in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. This year the Noble Peace Prize award has been conferred to Abiy Ahmed.

Abiy was elected as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia in April 2018. He introduced several liberalising reforms in an extremely controlled nation like Ethiopia, and was also successful in freeing thousands of opposition activists from jail, further allowing exiled dissidents to return home. For many years, Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict remained a violent deadlock and a proxy conflict for both the nations. But, it was Prime Minister Aby’s effort that led to the signing of the peace deal with her neighbor Eritrea, which further brought an end to the two-decade conflict that existed between the countries.

A “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship” was signed that declared the end of the “state of war” that lasted from the year 1998 to 2000 - killing around 70,000 people. After the deal got signed, direct flights with an immediate effect (in the twenty years) took off between Ethiopia and Eritrea (Addis Ababa to Asmara). Abiy worked for stable, prosperous and peaceful Africa and thus, has been the winner of 100thNobel Peace Prize. He will receive the award in December 2019  which is worth some nine million Swedish crowns ($900,000).

The Norwegian Nobel Committee mentioned that the Noble Peace Prize was primarily given to Abiy for his "decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea".

Further, the committee mentioned that the award also “recognizes recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions”. PM Abiy Ahmed mentioned that this award is not only for him, but for the African continent, for Ethiopia and for its people.

He also assured that seeing this, the rest of the African leaders will definitely commit to bring peaceful and cordial relations among nations in the Horn of Africa - as the region  still considered to be one of the most turbulent and unstable corners of the world.

Moreover, after normalising relations with Eretria, Abiy took initiative to bring peace and political transition for the betterment of the people in South Sudan too. He also tried to build better relations between Somalia and Kenya as maritime dispute exists between the two.

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