The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed who last year made peace with their bitter enemy, Eritrea.
Named as the winner of the 100th Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Dr Abiy was rewarded for his efforts to “achieve peace and international cooperation” in a deal which ended a 20-year military stalemate following their border war between 1998 and 2000.
With a total of 301 candidates being nominated for the prestigious award, including 223 individuals and 78 organisations, there was great speculation over who would win the prize, with climate activist Greta Thunberg widely tipped as the favourite.
Abiy Ahmed became prime minister of the east African country in April 2018, when he almost immediately introduced massive liberalising reforms as he shook up what was a tightly controlled nation.
He freed thousands of opposition activists from jail and allowed exiled dissidents to return home. Most importantly, he signed the peace deal with Eritrea.
But his reforms also lifted the lid on Ethiopia’s ethnic tensions, and the resulting violence forced some 2.5 million people from their homes.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said. That Dr Abiy was honoured for his “decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”.
Continuing, they said: “The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions”.
He will receive the award in the Norwegian capital in December.