The Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 had been awarded to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.”
Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, announced the peace prize at the Norwegian capital, Oslo, saying Ahmed’s efforts “deserve recognition and need encouragement” and that the committee hopes the prize will “strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation.”
Ethiopia and Eritrea, longtime foes who fought a border war from 1998 to 2000, restored relations in July 2018 after years of hostility, according to Reuters. One of Abiy’s biggest victories was the peace deal signed in July, which ended a nearly 20-year military stalemate.
Ahmed’s office responded to the win, saying “We are proud as a nation.”
Reiss-Anderse said she would not comment on teen climate activist Greta Thunberg being the bookmakers’ favourite to win the prize. Reuters says Ahmed was second-favourite to win.
Other names floated around included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, Associated Press reported.
Since 1901, 99 Nobel Peace Prizes have been handed out, to individuals and 24 organizations.
The 2018 prize was awarded to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi former captive of the Islamic State group, for their work to highlight and eliminate the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.