Published: Fri, October 11, 2019

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Ethiopian leader

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Ethiopian leader

The deadline for nominations for the awards was in February, but the Nobel committee can add names to its list after its closing.

Abiy, 43, became the prime minister of Ethiopia in April 2018.

Announcing the victor of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in Oslo, the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the prize, praised Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for his peacemaking efforts, speaking of "his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea".

It says Ethiopia still faces many challenges, such as ethnic rivalries and millions of refugees from neighboring countries, in addition to up to 3 million internally displaced Ethiopians.

On July 9, 2018, following a historic meeting in Eritrea's capital Asmara, Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki formally ended a 20-year-old stalemate between the countries in the wake of the 1998-2000 border conflict.

"The prize is also meant to recognize all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions", the committee said in a statement Friday.

Since 1901, 99 Nobel Peace Prizes have been handed out to individuals and 24 organisations.

"When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reached out his hand, President Afwerki grabbed it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries".

With the prize comes a $918,000 United States cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.

Last year, the award - consisting of a gold medal, a diploma, and nine million Swedish kronor (S$1.4 million) - was given to two champions fighting sexual violence, Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad.

The laureates receive them at elegant ceremonies on December 10 - the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896 - in Stockholm and Oslo. No doubt some people will think this year's prize is being awarded too early.

Two literature prizes were awarded on Thursday: One for 2018 that went to Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk and one for 2019 that was given to Austrian author Peter Handke.

The economics prize wasn't created by Nobel, but by Sweden's central bank in 1968.

He was named as the victor of the 100th Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, where he will receive the award in December.

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