Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali became the 100th recipient of Nobel Peace Prize on October 11. Abiy Ahmed, born in 1976 in Beshasha, a town in central Ethiopia, served in the Ethiopian army from 1991 to 2010. He got involved in the armed struggle against the socialist state of Mengistu Haile Mariam after the death of his oldest brother. Abiy Ahmed also served in the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Kigali, Rwanda.
Abiy Ahmed joined Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), one of the four coalition parties of the ruling government, to start his political career. He became the congress member of EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front), the ruling coalition front. In 2010, Abiy Ahmed, as a leader of Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), was elected to the lower chamber of the Ethiopian Federal Parliamentary Assembly, House of People’s Representatives. He also served as the Minister of Science and Technology for a brief period.
After becoming the Prime Minister on April 02, 2018, Abiy Ahmed promised major reforms including the solution of the long-term conflict with Eritrea. Within four months, Ali was able to broker a peace deal and signed the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship with Eritrea on July 08, 2018, in Asmara, Eritrea. Abiy Ahmed had made history even before signing the deal as he became the first Ethiopian leader to meet an Eritrean counterpart in over two decades.
The conflict between the two African countries lasted almost 20 years which claimed thousands of lives. The hostility was up to a point where communication lines between the countries were cut-off and no leaders of the two nations had visited either side since 1998. After the deal, the two countries resumed trade and diplomatic ties.
“As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice...The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation,” said the Norwegian Nobel Committee.