PAX warmly congratulates Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia on winning the Nobel Peace Prize 2019. Ahmed managed to end the years of struggle between Ethiopia and neighboring country Eritrea. He has been rapidly implementing democratic reforms since his appointment in April 2018.
PAX is impressed by his drive in implementing these reforms: the release of political prisoners and the offering of more space to opposition groups. He thereby shows an eye for improving the position of women. In doing so, he is sending a signal that should not be underestimated in a region that is struggling with many conflicts and is governed by many authoritarian heads of state and government leaders.
The Nobel Prize Committee further praises Abiy Ahmed for his role as a mediator in international conflicts in Africa. This year he mediated the conflict between the military council and the opposition. From our partners in Sudan the image emerges of a very respectful negotiator who pays a lot of attention to the interests of the citizens. We are well aware of the many challenges and problems in this region that are not easy to solve. This prize can therefore be seen as recognition and encouragement to continue this peace work.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), with PAX as one of its driving forces, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. We wish Abiy Ahmed an unforgettable day and success in all his endeavors. We hope to see that his efforts - and those of many others - will result in building a more lasting, inclusive peace in the Horn of Africa.