Meet 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Abiy Ahmed

Meet Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner honored for his role in ending a 20-year conflict between two nations.

2019’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient Abiy Ahmed helped end a 20-year conflict. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said his "efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement."

Ahmed is the prime minister of Ethiopia, which has been embroiled in a conflict with neighboring nation Eritrea for years over border territory. The bitter battle has led to approximately 80,000 deaths, as well as the separation of thousands of families.

Several months after Abiy took office in 2018, he made a surprise visit Eritrea, and began the talks that eventually ended the long conflict. Ethiopia and Eritrea officially signed a peace deal that September. Since then, families who were separated for decades by border conflicts were able to reunite. He is also the youngest person to lead an African nation at the age of 43, and started off his premiership by releasing the country’s political prisoners and denouncing their torture. He has also championed gender equality by appointing women to half of his cabinet.

“I am humbled by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,” Abiy tweeted. “My deepest gratitude to all committed and working for peace. This award is for Ethiopia and the African continent. We shall prosper in peace!”

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually along with prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature, to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Past Nobel Peace Prize laurates include Al Gore, Barack Obama and Malala Yousafzai.