I don’t work for prize – Ethiopia’s Abiy hits back at Trump over Nobel Prize complaint

Mohammed Awal January 13, 2020
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed. Photo Credit: Reuters

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has responded to President Donald Trump’s claims the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize shouldn’t have been awarded to him.

Speaking at a campaign rally Thursday, Trump questioned the thinking that went into announcing Ahmed the Peace Prize winner.

In a fiery speech, days after he ordered the killing of Iran’s top military general and threatening to decimate the Iranian military and cultural sites “harder than they have ever been hit before”, Trump suggested he should have been the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize after saving Ethiopia from war.

“I made a deal. I saved a country, and I just heard that the head of that country is now getting the Nobel Peace Prize for saving the country.

“I said ‘did I have something to do with it?’ Yeah. But you know that’s the way it is. As long as we know, that’s all that matters. I saved a big war, I saved a couple of ‘em’,” Trump said.

Ahmed reacted to Trump’s claims Sunday, urging the United States President to channel his reservations to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, stating that he did not have a clue about the criteria used in awarding the Peace Prize.

“So the issue of Donald Trump must go to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. I’m not aware how they elect or select someone…

“I’m not working for the prize, I’m working for peace, very critical for our region and if they recognize and president Trump complained, it must go to Oslo, not Ethiopia,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed won the Peace Prize last year for ending the longstanding border dispute between his country and Eritrea.

Announcing the winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said the award was to recognize Ahmed’s “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation and in particular his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea”.

Last year, a dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over an upstream Nile dam escalated over the hydropower barrage.

Ethiopia is building a $4 billion dam on the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River, near the border with Sudan, saying the project is necessary to provide the country with much-needed electricity.

Egypt feared that the dam could stem the flow of the Nile, on which it depends for around 90 percent of its water supply.

After months of negotiations between the two countries failed to resolve the impasse, spurring fears of a military conflict between Cairo and Addis Ababa, Trump intervened to diffuse the tension – on which basis the United States President felt he was deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize, not Ahmed.

Meanwhile, Ahmed has called on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to mediate in its dispute with Egypt over the future of the Grand Renaissance Dam.

It is, however, not clear what role South Africa will play in the dispute when Trump is already involved in mediating the dispute.

Construction of the dam is set for completion this year and it will become Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: January 13, 2020


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