Nobel Peace Committee Cautions Prize Winner Abiy Ahmed Over Tigray

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – NOVEMBE 29: Ethiopian Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed makes a speech as he and other senior diplomats of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) attend the IGAD Heads of meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 29, 2019. Minasse Wondimu Hailu / Anadolu Agency

The Norwegian Nobel committee has urged Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, to end the fighting in his country’s Tigray region.

The Nobel committee chairperson, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said on Thursday “As prime minister and peace prize laureate, Abiy Ahmed has a special responsibility to end the conflict and contribute to making peace.”

Although the committee generally refrains from commenting on the actions of laureates, it has now, for a second time urged Abiy to act. It previously expressed its “deep concern” over the situation in Tigray.
“The humanitarian situation is dire and it’s unacceptable that humanitarian aid is not getting through in a sufficient manner,” Reiss-Andersen said.

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Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize after making peace with neighbouring Eritrea and introducing political reforms in Ethiopia.

In the past week alone, airstrikes killed at least 73 civilians in Tigray, aid workers said.
Access to aid has been blocked in a region with more than 2 million internally displaced, while hundreds of thousands live in famine-like conditions.

Aid organisations were struggling to reach those in need, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth said.

Northern Ethiopia has been beset by conflict since November 2020, when Abiy ordered a military clampdown against regional forces in Tigray.

Fighting between government forces and the fighters from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has left thousands dead and displaced millions.

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In November, Abiy directed the fighting from the frontlines; a month later, the TPLF retreated into their region.


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