Nobel Prize for Peace 2019
- 15 Oct 2019
- 3 min read
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 has been awarded to Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.
- Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia ended 20 years war with neighboring Eritrea.
- The two countries resumed trade, diplomatic, and travel ties and started “a new era of peace and friendship” in the war-bloodied Horn of Africa.
Historical Background of the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict
- In 1993, Eritrea broke from its federation with Ethiopia, becoming an independent country that was located strategically at the mouth of the Red Sea on the Horn of Africa.
- Independence was the outcome of a 30-year war by Eritrean liberation fighters against Ethiopia, which had annexed the small multiethnic territory to its north in 1962.
- Just over five years after Independence, however, war broke out between the two countries over the control of Badme — a border town of no apparent significance.
- As the conflict evolved into a major refugee crisis, thousands of Eritreans fled to Europe.
- In June 2000, the two countries signed an Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, followed by a Peace Agreement.
- The above agreement formally ended the war and established a Boundary Commission to settle the dispute.
- The Commission gave its “final and binding” ruling in 2002 and Badme was awarded to Eritrea.
- However, Ethiopia refused to accept the decision and the border issues kept erupting in clashes.
- The Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed broke the nearly two-decade stalemate, announcing that Ethiopia would abide by the full terms of the 2000 agreement.
Peace between Ethiopia-Eritrea
- Ethiopia is landlocked, and through the years of the war with Eritrea, had been dependent heavily on Djibouti for access to the Gulf of Aden and onward to the Arabian Sea.
- The peace deal with Eritrea opened up Eritrean ports for Ethiopian use to balance its reliance on Djibouti.
- On the other hand, Eritrea sank steadily into economic stagnation and social and diplomatic isolation due to continuous war with Ethiopia.
- Eritrea also faced accusations from the UN Human Rights Commission for repeatedly human rights violations in the country.