The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, “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 prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”
The conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea dates to the end of the
Second World War, when the Eritrean region became a constituent state of Ethiopia following both countries’ liberation from Italian colonial rule. A bitter 30-year war led to Eritrea becoming a sovereign nation in 1991, after which the two countries continued to engage in border conflicts.
Upon coming to power, Prime Minister Abiy signed a historic peace deal with Eritrean President, Usauas Afwerki, leading to the normalisation of relations and the reopening of the border between the two countries. Prime Minister Abiy has also been lauded for his contributions to peace processes in other African countries including Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti.