Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was on Tuesday handed his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
The event was attended by the Norwegian royal family, government officials and public figures. Ironically, the prize-giving happened at a time ethnic violence was rising in the East African country.
However, the 43-year-old Prime Minister and former Intelligence Chief reaffirmed his readiness to face the challenges that come with peace.
“For me, nurturing peace is like planting and growing trees. Just like trees need water and good soil to grow, peace requires unwavering commitment, infinite patience, and goodwill to cultivate and harvest its dividends.” Ahmed said.
Following the Nobel Committee’s announcement in October that it was honouring Ahmed for his efforts to decisively resolve the long-running conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Ethiopians have expressed their concerns over the decision to honour him the prestigious award with many saying it came too early to the Prime Minister who only assumed office in April 2018.
Few months after the announcement by Nobel Committee, Ahmed shocked many, including the Committee itself when he disclosed that he was not going to grant interviews to international media or even field questions from young students who are usually given such opportunity at an event hosted by Save the Children.
Following a meeting held in Asmara, Eritrea’s capital on 9 July 2019, between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki the 20-year-old cold war between the two countries was formally brought to an end.
Recall that the two countries plunged into prolonged hostility following the 1998-2000 border conflict.
The historic achievement happened barely three months after Ahmed assumed office as Ethiopian Prime Minister and was largely due to his diplomacy in tackling the issue.
Ahmed also showed his eagerness to boost the nation’s democracy when he released dissidents from jail, apologised for state brutality, welcomed home exiled armed groups, established a national reconciliation committee and lifted the ban on some political parties.
Notwithstanding all the laudable reforms, Ahmed still faces some major challenges.
His commitment to hold the first “free, fair and democratic” elections since 2005 is being threatened by ethnic violence.
About 80 people have been killed in protests in the country in less than two weeks after his Nobel Peace Prize announcement.
On arrival in Oslo, Ahmed told a Norwegian journalist that:
“The situation in Ethiopia has… new challenges but without challenges, there is no way that we can do something new,”
“We consider those challenges as a great opportunity to do something positive.”
Copyright: News Central TV
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.