Abiy Ahmed Nobel Lecture at the Nobel Peace Prize 2019 event, Oslo City Hall

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed seized Nobel Lecture opportunity to call for an end of extremism in Ethiopia which he says is “powered by politics of exclusion”

Nobel Lecture _ Abiy Ahmed
Abiy Ahmed during his Nobel Lecture. Photo: Screenshot from Nobel Prize video

December 10, 2019

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has accepted the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize award at the Oslo City Hall, in Norway.

“…I am grateful to the Norwegian Nobel Committee for recognizing and encouraging my contribution to a peaceful resolution of the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea,” he said in his speech.

Abiy was not, however, forgetful of the contribution of President Isayas Afeworki. He described him as “Partner and comrade in peace.”

“I accept this award on behalf of Ethiopians and Eritreans especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace. Likewise, I accept this award on behalf of my partner and comrade in peace president Isaias Afeworki whose goodwill, trust and commitment were vital in ending the two decades deadlock between our countries,” he said.

Abiy Ahmed shared his memories of the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia as a young soldier and radio operator in the border town of Badma- a town that allegedly triggered the war between the two countries.

He said “War makes for bitter men heartless and savage men.”

He also cited the the social crisis that the war brought about to the peoples to the two countries.

When Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April 2018, Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), introduced a rapprochement policy towards Eritrea which is widely seen as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s initiative.

After more than two decades of no-peace-no-war situation, Ethiopia and Eritrea managed to close that chapter and re-establish normal relation. Families that have been separated for more than twenty years have reunited.

The two counties are now working on a range of agreements economic, social and cultural.

Abiy Ahmed also seized the opportunity to talk about his medemer ideology which he said is a homegrown idea that emphasizes on synergy and convergence.

He also exploited the opportunity to call up on Ethiopians “to join hands and help build a country that offers equal justice, equal right and equal opportunities for all its citizens…”

He also made time to highlight the damage that extremism is causing to Ethiopia :

“I would like to especially express that we should avoid the path of extremism and division powered by politics of exclusion “

Watch his speech below.

Video : Embedded from Nobel Peace Prize YouTube account
Cover photo : screenshot from video

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