Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been named as the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his efforts to achieve peace with neighbouring country Eritrea, reported Reuters.
Long-time foes Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war from 1998 to 2000. The two countries restored relations in July 2018 when Ahmed worked with Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki on the peace agreement to end the two-decade long conflict.
The Nobel committee applauded Ahmed’s efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation as well as his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with Eritrea.
Prime Minister Ahmed will be presented the prize, worth nine million Swedish crowns, or around $900,000, in Oslo on Dec. 10, which is the death anniversary of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will. This year’s peace prize was the 100th to be awarded.
A total of 301 candidates had been nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, including 223 individuals and 78 organisations. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg had been the favourite to win the award. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also a nominated, for her response to the Christchurch shooting earlier this year.
Soon after Ahmed was named the Peace Prize winner, the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s office tweeted out a statement celebrating the achievement.
The statement said since coming to power in 2018 Prime Minister Ahmed had made “peace, forgiveness and reconciliation key components of his administration.”
“This victory and recognition is a collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the New Horizon of Hope – a prosperous nation for all,” the statement added.