Nobel Peace Prize 2019

The Norwegian Nobel Committee selected the winner for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Oct. 11. The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, won for his efforts in achieving international peace. Since becoming Prime Minister in April 2018, Ahmed has implemented reforms for Ethiopians to attain a better life and future.

Ahmed was able to lift Ethiopia’s state of emergency, order the release of thousands of  political prisoners, and unblock hundreds of TV channels and websites. 

Other of Ahmed’s efforts in Ethiopia include increasing the influence of women in political and social life, persecuting civilian and military leaders suspected of corruption, and outlawing opposition groups.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee commented that, “when Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries.” This is one of Ahmed’s biggest accomplishments since being in office. Ahmed and the president of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, ended a 20 year war and began a new era of  peace between the rival countries. 

Although some are critical because Ahmed is in a new stage of leadership by being in office for only 18 months, in a recent press release, the Committee stated that “the Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation.”

Ahmed is awarded with nine million SEK, which converts to approximately 927,223.20 USD. According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize should be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.”

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Sophie Ungerleider

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