- Title: "I am humbled": Ethiopian PM tweets after winning Nobel Peace Prize
- Date: 11th October 2019
- Summary: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (OCTOBER 11, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** NEWS CONFERENCE BY ETHIOPIA PRESS SECRETARY AND SPOKESPERSON BILLENE ASTER SEYOUM VARIOUS OF JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ETHIOPIA PRESS SECRETARY, BILLENE ASTER SEYOUM, SAYING: "This recognition is historic. It is a big milestone. It raises the profile of Ethiopia at the global stage, but more importantly it is also testimony of the hard work that has been going on over the past year and a half again spearheaded by the prime minister and his administration as well." JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ETHIOPIA PRESS SECRETARY AND SPOKESPERSON, BILLENE ASTER SEYOUM, SAYING: "I am sure a lot of you would be wondering where was the prime minister when he heard this news, as part of the Unity Park inauguration that happened yesterday, we have had several IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority for Development) heads of states within the country, and at that point in time His Excellency Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdock was on official state visit and also meeting the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the time of the announcement." JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ETHIOPIA PRESS SECRETARY AND SPOKESPERSON, BILLENE ASTER SEYOUM, SAYING: "When His Excellency assumed the premiership in April 2018, he did inherit a lot of challenges as well. It doesn't mean we're not faced with challenges at this moment but the commitment was for the realisation of democratisation in Ethiopia and a lot of the work that has been done anchored in those principles." END OF NEWS CONFERENCE NAIROBI, KENYA (OCTOBER 11, 2019) (REUTERS) MURITHI MUTIGA, PROJECT DIRECTOR FOR HORN OF AFRICA - INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP ENTERS ROOM/ LOOKS AT BOOK MUTIGA LOOKING AT BOOK (SOUNDBITE) (English) MURITHI MUTIGA, PROJECT DIRECTOR FOR HORN OF AFRICA, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP SAYING: "I think the Horn of Africa is going through a period of serious tumult and transitions which have both a lot of hope and potential for problems so this will really position Abiy in his preferred role as a peacemaker. It will raise his profile. He potentially can involve in a number of linked challenges in the region. We have the Sudan transition which is still incomplete, the South Sudan Peace deal is supposed to be implemented but has not really been properly implemented. There are tensions between Kenya and Somalia. Well, Abiy now is very well positioned to potentially play a role as mediator in some of these linked challenges." MUTIGA READING A BOOK (SOUNDBITE) (English) MURITHI MUTIGA, PROJECT DIRECTOR FOR HORN OF AFRICA, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP SAYING: "The Ethiopian elite they need to arrive at a political settlement to deal with some of the questions that have triggered instability. There's a lot of questions about the future of the ethnic federalism system, there are questions about the timing of the elections, there are efforts to open up the political space but these have been accompanied by major violence and instability that has not been seen for three decades." MUTIGA WORKING ON HIS COMPUTER
- Embargoed: 25th October 2019 16:21
- Keywords: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Nobel Peace Prize Eritrea
- Location: INTERNET /ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA / NAIROBI, KENYA
- City: INTERNET /ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA / NAIROBI, KENYA
- Country: Ethiopia
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA002B0NMX53
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday (October 11) for his peacemaking efforts which ended two decades of hostility with long-time enemy Eritrea.
"I am humbled by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. My deepest gratitude to all committed and working for peace. This award is for Ethiopia and the African continent. We shall prosper in peace!" Abiy posted on his Twitter account hours after the announcement was made. He has yet to make a public appearance since winning the prize.
Earlier Abiy thanked the committee when they called him to inform that he's won.
Though Africa's youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.
Abiy was meeting Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok when he was informed he had won the prize, Abiy's spokeswoman Billene Aster Seyoum said during a news conference.
The Nobel Committee said Abiy had won the prestigious prize for "efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea."
It said the prize was meant to recognise "all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions."
Murithi Mutiga from the think-tank International Crisis Group said Abiy's Nobel prize could cement his "peacemaker"role in a region wracked by conflicts and problems.
But Mutiga added this recognition also puts pressure on Abiy to address domestic issues.
Abiy, now 43, took office in April 2018 after the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn following three years of violent anti-government protests. The ruling coalition had already begun making conciliatory measures, including releasing many political prisoners, but Abiy speeded up the reforms.
His government has promised to liberalise the bureaucratic, state-controlled economy, lift bans on many political parties and dismissed or arrested many senior officials accused of corruption, torture or murder.
The changes are the most sweeping since the coalition took power in 1991, and the loosening of the state's iron grip has raised hopes in the country and abroad.
(Production: Kumerra Gemechu, Edwin Waita, Jackson Njehia, Angelica Ramos)
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