Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been slammed by the Nobel Peace Prize awarding panel over the ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in his country’s Tigray region reported Africa News.
“As prime minister and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Abiy Ahmed has a special responsibility to end the conflict and contribute to peace,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement.
Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in making peace with Eritrea after one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts and introducing political reforms in Ethiopia.
The Oslo-based committee said that it must be noted that Abiy’s prize was awarded on the basis of his efforts and the justifiable expectations that existed in 2019 adding that the historical backdrop included an authoritarian governing system and widespread ethnic conflicts.
Last year in November, Abiy’s government allowed Ethiopian forces to launch an offensive into Tigray after accusing the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacks on the federal army camps.
Some tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict so far, while hundreds of thousands of people are currently facing famine as the Ethiopian government has barred necessary food and medical aid from reaching Tigray since late June.
The statement said that the developments in Ethiopia have escalated to a comprehensive armed conflict since the autumn of 2020.
It warned that the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia is very serious, and it is unacceptable that humanitarian aid work does not emerge to a significant extent. In late December, the conflict entered a new phase when Tigray forces were forced back into their region amid a new military offensive. The Ethiopian forces assured that they would not advance further into the region.
The committee said that it was not their responsibility to make ongoing commentary on the development in Ethiopia.