Statement by the Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee of 13 January 2022 on the situation in Ethiopia
The Norwegian Nobel Committee is unable to comment publicly on the key factors that motivated it to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Abiy Ahmed in 2019, beyond referring to the statements issued in connection with that year’s award. The reason is that the Committee’s deliberations are confidential. Furthermore, it is not our role to provide continuing commentary on Ethiopian developments or to assess the position of a Peace Prize laureate after the prize has been received.
It must be emphasised that Abiy Ahmed’s prize was awarded on the basis of his efforts and the justifiable expectations that existed in 2019. The peace initiatives that Abiy Ahmed introduced and for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize sprang from his contribution to the peace agreement with Eritrea and his broad political initiatives for democracy and expanded civil rights. The historical backdrop included an authoritarian governing system and widespread ethnic conflicts.
Since the autumn of 2020, tensions in Ethiopia have escalated into a large-scale armed conflict. The humanitarian situation is extremely serious, and it is unacceptable that large amounts of humanitarian aid are not reaching those in need.
As Prime Minister and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Abiy Ahmed has a special responsibility to end the conflict and help to create peace.