“It is a game of destiny that I stand here and talk about peace,” said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
– I accept this award on behalf of the people of both Ethiopia and Eritrea, especially those who have sacrificed life in the service of peace, said the 43-year-old when he gave his Nobel lecture in Oslo City Hall.
He also thanked Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki. Abiy has been awarded this year’s Peace Prize, partly because during his first half as prime minister he managed to make peace with neighboring countries after decades of conflict.
As a young soldier in the Ethiopian army, Abiy himself witnessed the long war against neighboring countries in the north. Among other things, he told about the time his entire unit was wiped out in an attack while he had himself left the trench for a short while.
– War is the very epitome of hell on earth for everyone involved. I know, because I’ve been there and come back. I’ve seen brothers slaughter their brothers on the battlefield, he said.
When I became prime minister 18 months ago, I felt very strongly that it was necessary to end the uncertainty. It is the game of destiny that makes me stand before you here today and talk about peace, Abiy said.
He emphasizes that even if peace has been achieved, hard work is required to maintain it.
For me, creating peace can be compared to planting and growing trees. Just as the trees need water and good soil to grow, peace requires a firm commitment, endless patience and benevolence if one is to grow and reap the fruits of peace, Abiy said.
He also drew on an old African saying:
– “If you want a peaceful night, your neighbour must also have a peaceful night.” The essence of this saying is a guideline for strengthening relations in the region. We are now striving to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours, said the Peace Prize winner.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today