Ahmed was honoured for “his important work to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and the East and Northeast African regions efforts to achieve peace and international co-operation, and in particular his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”.
However, why did the Nobel committee depart from its well-established tradition of giving the warring parties joint awards? In South Africa, the heroic Nelson Mandela was honoured alongside his questionable rival FW de Klerk.
Similarly, Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin won the 1994 Nobel Prize regardless of thousands of innocent people dying in the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Abiy did not single-handedly achieve peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
He painstakingly worked closely with President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea. Although Afwerki remains the villain, diplomatically isolated and with sanctions levelled against his country, he is a critical player needed to sustain the Ethiopia-Eritrea boarder dispute.