Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been named as this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner by the committee determining the award.
PM Ahmed, who came to power last year, was picked for the prestigious global peace gong, thanks to what is widely believed to be his work to initiate human rights reforms in Ethiopia, a country that has witnessed decades of repression.
He has also been widely praised for championing a peace deal with neighbouring Eritrea, ending more than 20 years of hostile relations.
The Ethiopian Premier, 46, was also instrumental in brokering an agreement between Sudan’s military leaders and the civilian opposition, bringing an end to months of protests.
Meanwhile, responding to the award, Amnesty International’s (AI) Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s work is far from done.
“This award should push and motivate him to tackle the outstanding human rights challenges that threaten to reverse the gains made so far. He must urgently ensure that his government addresses the ongoing ethnic tensions that threaten instability and further human rights abuses. He should also ensure that his government revises the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation which continues to be used as a tool of repression and holds suspected perpetrators of past human rights violations to account,” Naidoo added.
The AI official said more than ever, Prime Minister Abiy must fully espouse the principles and values of the Nobel Peace Prize to leave a lasting human rights legacy for Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa region, and the world at large.