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Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Receives Nobel Peace Prize, Refuses to Hold Customary News Conference

HeadlineDec 11, 2019

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize in a ceremony in Oslo Tuesday.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed: “I accept this award on behalf of Ethiopians and Eritreans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace. Likewise, I accept this award on behalf of my partner and comrade in peace, President Isaias Afwerki, whose goodwill, trust — whose goodwill, trust and commitment were vital in ending the two-decade deadlock between our countries.”

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the award for ending the two-decade “state of war” between Ethiopia and Eritrea. But the prime minister is now facing increasing opposition at home, including over the security forces’ deadly crackdown against protests in October. Abiy Ahmed refused to hold the customary news conference as part of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies.

Meanwhile, in Sweden, the Nobel Prize for Literature was also awarded Tuesday to Austrian author Peter Handke and Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk. Awarding the prize to Peter Handke has sparked widespread controversy over the writer’s close ties to former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Handke delivered a eulogy at his funeral. Nearly 60,000 people have called for the award to be revoked, and Turkey, Albania and Kosovo all boycotted Tuesday’s ceremony.

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