Oct 11, 2019

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel Peace Prize

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

Why it matters: Ahmed was selected for his part in helping restart peace talks with neighboring Eritrea after years of conflict. The award is also meant to "recognize all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions."

The big picture: Ethnic tensions are flaring up in Ethiopia with an estimated 3 million Ethiopians internally displaced. The Nobel Committee said that it recognizes that some people will criticize it for handing out the award to Ahmed too early, but "believes it is now that [his] efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement."

Some of Ahmed's accomplishments:

  • Ahmed's government helped normalize diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Djibouti following many years of political hostility.
  • Ahmed has mediated conflicts between Kenya and Somalia over a continuing dispute about rights to a marine area.
  • Ahmed played a key role in getting the Sudanese military regime and opposition to negotiate an agreement following major protests.

Go deeper: Ethiopia and Eritrea declare end to cold war

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