The Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed has been awarded the 2019 Nobel peace prize.
Oxfam Ethiopia Country Director, Gezahegn Gebrehana, said: “Oxfam warmly congratulates Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for winning the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. He took the initiative which broke nearly twenty years of deadlock between Ethiopia and Eritrea, following decades of fighting, which allowed for a peace deal to be made. He also reversed many years of draconian rule at home, opening up space for civil society, bringing freedom of speech and a freer society. Oxfam estimates that conflicts, like the one between Ethiopia and Eritrea cost Africa some $18bn per year. The human cost in lives lost and blighted is also terrible, and beyond calculation. In such circumstances of insecurity and conflict, achieving sustainable socio-economic development is impossible, so this peace deal was vital to the region in promising better lives to millions of ordinary people.
"Oxfam hopes that this award, recognising Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s courage and leadership, will give new impetus to peace initiatives in Ethiopia and all over the world – and energy to far-sighted leaders like him. We note that this recognition comes at a time when ethnic tensions are rising in Ethiopia and a significant number of people are internally displaced. We hope that this prize will give the Prime Minister the encouragement needed to further focus his attention to rooting out the causes of the conflicts in the country as well as taking definitive actions to end impunity for the perpetrators of violence and insecurity which is pushing hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes.
"The Nobel Peace Prize is not the end of the peace process, but it is a powerful and deserved recognition that something important has been done towards the African Union’s goal of 'Silencing the Guns', and in building prosperity in a peaceful continent.”