The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Abiy Ahmed, cited Eritrean president Isaias Afewerki for his contribution to win the prize. Abiy mentioned Isaias today during his speech on the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony at Oslo City Hall.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Nobel committee, mentioned the achievements of the prime minister, which led him to the award. One of the main reasons she said was the prime minister’s initiative to resolve the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea after three decades.
“I accept this award on behalf of my partner and comrade in peace president Isaias Afewerki,” said Abiy at the beginning of his speech. He also appreciated that the ‘goodwill and commitment’ of the Eritrean president had a vital role in ending the decades of ‘deadlock’ between the two countries.
In his speech, the prime minister shared his experience that he was a radio operator in the Ethiopian Army during the war against Eritrea twenty years ago. “My entire unit wiped out by pedestrian attack” at the border town of Badme. The fear and uncertainty after the end of the war resulted in the economic and social crisis Abiy added.
“When I became prime minister 18 months ago, I felt in my heart that ending the uncertainty was necessary,” Laurate said. The readiness from president Isaias and himself to make peace had accelerated the reconciliation process.
Furthermore, the prime minister taught about peace for the audience in the Oslo City Hall, including the Norwegian royal family, and he invited the worldwide community to work for peace.
At the venue, he received a Gold medal and a diploma from the hands of Berit Reiss-Andersen.