The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was announced this morning and the topic resonates around the world. The Associated Press reported that The Norwegian Nobel Institute awarded the prize to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for “his efforts to end his country’s two-decade border conflict with Eritrea.”

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 “after a 30-year guerrilla war” during which “80,000 people died in a war between the two countries from 1998-2000.” When Ahmed took office he “surprised people by fully accepting a peace deal ending a 20-year border war between the two East African nations that saw tens of thousands of people killed” according to the Associated Press. Prior to Ahmed, “Ethiopia and Eritrea had not had diplomatic ties since the war began in 1998.”

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Reportedly, “within weeks, the visibly moved Eritrean president, Isaias Afwerki, visited Addis Adaba and communications and transport links were restored. For the first time in two decades, long-divided families made tearful reunions.”

Improving relations led to the “lifting of United Nations sanctions on Eritrea.” The Nobel organization said “peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone” but that when Ahmed “reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalize the peace process between the two countries.”

Interestingly, the committee admitted that they “want to be actors” on the world stage. “They want to make decisive interventions because the world listens to their opinion, Nobel historian Oeivink Stenersen said.” In essence, they wanted to “nudge a peace process forward.”

Continue Reading: Associated Press