“Congratulations to my brother and friend Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Well deserved! Your remarkable commitment to Ethiopian unity, as well as regional peace and cooperation, are an inspiration to many in Africa,” he tweeted.
According to the Nobel Prize website, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.
The prize is also meant to recognize all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions, according to the Nobel Peace Prize website.
"When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister on April 2018, he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea. In close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long no peace, no war stalemate between the two countries," the website said.
The website further said that an important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed’s "unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002".
The Nobel Prize also mentioned that "In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Peace Laureate Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future. As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity, and social justice."
Abiy Ahmed becomes the 100th Nobel Prize Laureate. He will pick it in Oslo city, Norway in December 2019.
The award comes with close to 900,000 dollars (Rwf 832 500 000) as a prize.
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmentalist, was a finalist with Prime Minister Abiy. A total of 301 candidates, 223 individuals, and 78 organizations were in the running for this year’s award.
"No doubt some people will think this year’s prize is being awarded too early," reads the statement from Norwegian Nobel Committee. "The Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement."
After learning about the good news, Prime Minister Abiy thanked the selection committee for choosing him and dedicated the prize to Africa.
Prime Minister Abiy is the first Ethiopian leader to win the Nobel, while Emperor Haile Selassie I was a nominee for the Nobel in 1964.