This year’s Peace Prize winner will not meet the press in Oslo

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 file photo, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the European Council headquarters in Brussels. The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was given to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, file)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will not be interviewed when he comes to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize next week.

“The traditional press conference with the Nobel Prize winner has been removed from the program this year. With few exceptions, this has not happened since the early 1990s, when press conferences became a permanent entry on the Nobel program,” says Nobel director Olav Njølstad to NTB.

According to Njølstad, the press conference will not happen because Ahmed arrives late in the afternoon of December 9, the day before the Nobel ceremony itself. But the Peace Prize winner has also said no to interviews with NRK, the BBC and Al Jazeera.

– “Whatever reasons lie behind this, you will have to ask his press spokesperson,” says the Nobel director.

A large international press turnout is usually present at the awards ceremony. This year, two journalists from Ethiopia are currently accredited. In addition, Ethiopians in exile may have applied for accreditation from news media in other countries, according to Njølstad

– Avoid difficult questions
Abiy Ahmed received the Peace Prize because in his first half as prime minister he managed to make peace with neighboring Eritrea after decades of conflict and accelerated democratization in Ethiopia.

But since then, nothing has happened, according to professor and Ethiopia expert Kjetil Tronvoll.

– “He doesn’t have much to brag about after his first six months,” he says.

During the past six months, the Eritrea process has stalled, while unrest in Ethiopia has risen to new heights.

– “There are great tensions in Ethiopia, as great as it has hardly ever been,” says Tronvoll.

“By not meeting the press, Ahmed avoids having to answer difficult questions about the peace process, about the unrest in Ethiopia and what the growing fragmentation in Ahmed’s own party could entail,” he points out.

“The most important thing is that ordinary Ethiopians now feel an increasing degree of insecurity and uncertainty. They do not trust that the state is strong enough to secure them,” says Tronvoll.

Want to lift ethnic differences
In late October, just weeks after the Abiy Ahmed Peace Prize was announced, about 70 people were killed in turmoil in the capital, Addis Ababa and the Oromia region. Ahmed himself is from the Oromo people group, Ethiopia’s largest, and it was these who brought him to power in 2018.

But now well-known Oromo activists have turned to Ahmed, who will resolve the tensions in the country by lifting ethnic divides and establishing a new national identity.

It has not fallen into good soil.

– “Ethiopia is deeply divided between those who want unity and those who want ethnic autonomy. Many believe that Abiy now cuts off the branch he is sitting on. His power base is weathering with every passing day,” says Tronvoll.

Track selection loss
In November, however, the prime minister managed to unite three of four ethnic-based parties in Ethiopia’s ruling coalition EPRDF into a new party with the belligerent name Prosperity Party.

But so far, the Tigray party TPLF, which ruled Ethiopia for 27 years, has given a thumbs down.

Elections will be held in Ethiopia, next May.

– If the election is carried out and there is a big if, and if it becomes a fair election, an even bigger if, then Abiy will lose, predicts Tronvoll.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


9 Comments on "This year’s Peace Prize winner will not meet the press in Oslo"

  1. Awarding the noble peace prize to Abiy is a big mistake and misleading the international society.
    Because all borders of between Ethiopia and Eritrea are still blocked. The relationship is only limited between Abiy of Ethiopia and Esayas of Eritrea.
    Both people doesn’t have the chance to comunicate each other.
    No peace with the whole part of Ethiopia.
    There is a high tension between regional states and internal the ruling party also.
    Totally Abiy is incapable and Bucher too.
    So, you misleading the international society by Awarding this incapable person.

    • You know what? This guy has no answer for any questions becouse he deserves prison not Nobel peace Prize. You proved NP is worthless and none sence. I’m sorry for the next winner. They feel shameful for it.

  2. You made historical mistake and misleading the international society by awarding this person.
    Because all borders of Ethiopia and Eritrea are still blocked.
    The relationship is only limited between Abiy of Ethiopia and Esayas of Eritrea.
    No peace in the whole part of Ethiopia.
    Many displaced from their home because of ethnic conflict, many are died because of the conflict, there is tension between regional states, there is fragmentation within the party which leads by Abiy and many many can say.
    Totally Abiy is incapable and he is the main factor for the massive conflict in the current Ethiopia.
    So you made a big mistake and misleading the international society.

  3. Nobel peace prise for the Butcher is ridiculous.

  4. The prize is for his endeover sprit of changes which the country in chaos for decades. He already starts everything that will change multi dimensional issues in the country but all the stakeholder of the chaos become the ultimate challenge for him to don’t do what he planned. Would rather change the prize decision but this kinds leader is a dream specially for the green illiterate and mass movement leaders/ Green morons in African.

    ABIY ALREADY DONE WHAT A ULTIMATE WAY TO BENEFITS THE PEOPLE AS WELL AFRICANS. know in the country the leader is prophet but some peoples found Damon.

  5. It’s shame!!
    Abiy is criminal and killer.
    You confused the international society and made a historical mistake.
    Please go to the ground and ask the Eritrean and Ethiopian. No real peace and all borders are blocked by these two stupid guys.
    You made a historical mistake ended.

  6. We didn’t know before that the Nobel Prize is awarded for conspiracy agendas. If the peace deal with Ethio-Eritrea was the cause, we, the people at the boarders knew that it is not peace deal but treasonous agreement between the two dictators Abiy and Isayas to attack the TPLF and Tigray. This must be the 1st in the world history one government agrees with foreign government to attack his own people and party. The Norwegian Noble Committee made a fatal mistake to award a ‘prestigious’ prize for the criminal.

  7. Dr Abiy deserves the Nobel peace prize for already he accomplished at the beginning of his power! Now the problem is too many Selfish activists are working against his plan and has been betrayed by some of his close friends. hopefully he will get through that and make the country and the region better for all residents.

  8. Oromo Proverb” Dhugaan Afaan Qaban funyaaniin baati jedha.”Thanks to people who work hard on truth.!

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