Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 27 November 2020

Beyond the Headlines: Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed – from Nobel Peace Prize to the brink of war

Abiy Ahmed is fighting against the province of Tigray, in Ethiopia’s north, sandwiched below Eritrea and next to Sudan

In 2019, Abiy Ahmed was riding high. For a year he had been Ethiopia’s prime minister, having emerged from Byzantine internal jockeying at a time of deep unease and anger. He had ushered in a series of swift democratic reforms, seemingly bringing an end to decades of repression as he opened up the media and released political prisoners.

Then, the charismatic 43-year-old blew on to the international scene, winning the Nobel Prize for reaching out to end the decades-long conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. He had solved an intractable situation once dubbed “No war, No peace.” But less than a year later, on November 17, the same people that rewarded his peacemaking efforts with a Nobel prize released a statement expressing deep concern. The reason? Abiy was now at war at home against the province of Tigray, in Ethiopia’s north, sandwiched below Eritrea and next to Sudan.

This week on Beyond the Headlines host James Haines Young looks at how Abiy Ahmed went from Nobel Peace Prize winner to the brink of civil war in Ethiopia.

Updated: November 22, 2020 08:18 AM

Most Read