SIPRI congratulates Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on being awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
According to the Nobel Committee, the motivation for the prize was ‘for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea’.
‘The peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea benefitted a lot from the energy that Prime Minister Ahmed put into it. The conflict between these countries had become a case of not quite open warfare but no real peace. Prime Minister Ahmed has made the difference and made it possible to get to a peace agreement,’ says Dan Smith, SIPRI Director. ‘His contribution extends beyond this peace process. His work in the region to make the wider Horn of Africa more secure is admirable and noteworthy.’
After taking office in April 2018, Prime Minister Ahmed took swift actions to formally end the conflict with Eritrea. On 9 July 2018, Prime Minister Ahmed signed ‘The Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship’, a breakthrough peace agreement with Eritrea.
‘The real challenges for Prime Minister Ahmed now—on what could be called the “peace front”—are the internal challenges in Ethiopia. The country still has some 3 million displaced people and a continuing need for political reform and political opening,’ says Smith. ‘Ahmed has made steps but significant challenges still lie ahead.’