Abiy Ahmed has been awarded a Nobel Prize. Now he must earn it.

3 mins read

Washington update

October 11, 2019


Right now, he is on the same path that the Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi traveled. She won a Nobel Peace prize not for what she had accomplished, but rather for things the Nobel committee hoped she would accomplish. The committee’s hopes were misplaced. Aung San Suu Kyi is today shunned the international community, treated as a pariah because she has stood aside, saying and doing nothing to prevent ethnic genocide. Now she is complicit not only in the slaughter and displacement of millions of her people, but also in the unjust imprisonment of journalists.


Like Aung San Suu Kyi, Abiy took bold steps to advance peace, and like her, he is now standing aside and doing nothing to prevent ethnic violence and hatred. Over two million Ethiopians have been displaced – driven from their homes and forced to live in fear and poverty – since he took power.


Brutal ethnic cleansing is occurring both in Southern and Northern Ethiopia. Ethnic tensions are sending the country into a spiral of violence that is leaving churches and worshippers subject to property lost and murder.


In the South, armed groups, including the Oromo Liberation Front, are putting at risk the lives and livelihood of the entire population. The OLF is murdering innocents, robbing banks, and forcing people to pay ransoms. After the government of Ethiopia removed bans on dissident groups, it allowed their members to return from exile. The government has not made arrangements for the OLF to disarm and integrate into civilian society.


In the northern parts of the Amahar region, the government continues to harass, arrest people and jail people without due process.


Ethiopians are concerned that their government has taken no action to prevent bloodshed.


The regime’s policies have already created massive suffering: outbreaks of preventable diseases such as malaria and cholera are killing large numbers of people; government cronyism is allowing a tiny elite to prosper while most of the country slips further into despair.


Abiy should use the prestige and international support associated with the Nobel Peace prize to put Ethiopia on the path to democracy and economic prosperity. This can only be accomplished if he abandons the ideology of ethnic division, and if a process is launched to revise the Ethiopian constitution. The present constitution was created to exacerbate ethnic divisions. It will lead to the destruction of Ethiopia.


Abiy has the world’s attention. It is urgent that he put it to work for the benefit of Ethiopia, and to create a model for Africa and the world. 


Mesfin Mekonen


  1. amhara atrocity both in words and deeds tefstifying the fact that they are killers of all time.

    Tsegenet Asfail y a 1 semaine
    አማራ የተባልክ በሙሉ ወደ ጎንደር ዝመት መንገድህን ወደ ጎንደር አድርግ በየተራ አትለቅ ተጀምሮልሃል እያንዳንድህ ቅየ ከመምጣቱ በፊት የአማራን ጠላት በአማራ ቋጥኝ ከተደበቀበት አሳደህ በለው እንግዲህ ዝምብለህ የምታልቅ ከሆነ በየተራ መጥቶ ይለቅምሃል የማንንም ትዕዛዝ መጠበቅ አያስፈልግህም ከዚህ የበለጠ ዘግናኝ ነገር የለም ቁጭ ብለህ አትለቅ በጣም ያምማል ወገኖቻችን ላይ እየሆነ ያለው ነገር ።

    Chacha Ashenafiil y a 1 semaine (modifié)
    እኔ አማራ አይደለሁም ግን ቅማንት የሚባለው እኔ ቅማል ነው የምለው ግን የቅማንትህዝብን አይደለም ምክንያቱም ኮሚቴ ነኝ ባዩ ተላላኪ ፅፈት ቤቱ መቀሌ ነው…. ተመልሶ ባርነት ያማረው ድንጋይ ነው የምላቸው…አማራ እንደማነኛውም ክልል የሚወክላችሁን አዴፓን ለግዜው ከነችግሩ ብትደግፉ እና ብትሰሩ ይሄንን ጊዜ በአሸናፊነት ትወጡታላችሁ ባይ ነኝ…ትላንት አማራን ለ27 አመት ሲረግጥ ለነበረ ሌባ ቡድን ዛሬ ሎሌ የሚሆን ድንጋይ የቅማንት ህዝብ ካድሬ ነን ባዮች የተከበረውን የቅማንትን ህዝብ አይወክሉም …ከቅማንት ህዝብ እና ከክልሉ አመራር አካላት ጋር በቅንጅት እየለያችሁ ግንባር ግንባሩን በሉት… እርግጠኛ ነኝ ራሱ የቅማንት ህዝብም በመለየቱ ስራ ይተባበራችኃል …ምክንያቱም ወያኔ ሲረግጣችሁ የነበረው ቅማንት ወሎ ጎንደር ወዘተ እያለ አልነበረም ሁሉንም የክልሉን ህዝብ ስለነበር
    አማራ የሆንክ ተማሪ ገበሬ ምንሻ ነጋዴ ባለስልጣን ሁሉን ትተክ ተነስ ታገል ማንነትክን አስከብር ከልዩሀይሎችህ ጎን ቁም እነሱን አታስበላ ሌላው ከድል በውሀላ ይደርሳል ድል ለጀግናው አማራ ቅዱስ ሚካኤል ከፊታችሁ ይቅደም እሱ በሚያቀው ጠላታችሁን ዱቄት ያድርግላችሁ

    eshe dowlingil y a 1 semaine
    ቅማልት በቀበሌ የሚወሠን ህዝብ ለምንድነው የወያኔ ተባባሪ የሚሆነው የወሎ የሸዋ የጎጃም የጎንደር አማራ የወያኔ ቅጥረኛ ወየኔን አሣዱት::ጄነራል አሣምነው ተናግሯል

    wondu argaw yimamil y a 1 semaine
    I thinck the problem in gonder is not get solved by granting the regional authonomy to qimant unless the amhara cut hands behind the screen that distablize the region! Amhara should oppen another front from eritrea or sudan to weeken enemy resource! Amhara need to organize its secret security force in colaboration with israel or any other force rather than relaying on inefficient tigrean dominated security of the nation

  2. In my previous comment on a different article, I have reminded the young PM that the award honeymoon is already over. It is already time to go to work and advised him to avoid any ethnicity tinged rally to celebrate the award. It is no time to party because the Valkyrie has not come out singing yet. The award is the result of an opportunity presented to you after a heavy price paid in human lives and sufferings not by one ethnic group only but rather by many others. One human life is an Allah given life just too many. Avoid such festivities by all means necessary.

    The other arguments discrediting the award are just not of any merit at all. They tell us that the peace treaty he signed with Eritrea did not alter the accord inside that country. We should never forget the fact that Eritrea has been a sovereign nation since 1993. Whatever is happening inside their country it will be up to our dear Eritrean citizens to sort it out by themselves. They are extremely industrious people and they knew what they were doing in 1993 and I strongly believe they still know what to do about their current internal affairs. To think otherwise about them is an insult to their intelligence. Their internal affairs were not part of the peace accord and cannot be used to invalidate the prestigious award.

    In 1950 Dr. Ralph Bunche was the winner of the same price. He was given a mission by the UN to bring the warring sides of the Arab-Israeli War that erupted in 1948 to a negotiation table. He achieved success that included resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict in the then Palestine, not in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon or Trans Jordan. The internal affairs of the parties in the conflict were not on his to-do list. So he deserved the award. Farouq’s runaway corruption and mistreatment of his people were not Bunche’s business or part of his assignment. He was told to stop the war and he did just that when others failed. Also, Mandela had deservingly won the same award in 1993. Should he be asked to return the award just because of the savage bloody mayhem between the Zulus and ANC supporters in 1990 right after his release from jail, the audacious Guptas scandal since then and the xenophobia that swept his country for a good decade now? Come on!!! Sung San is a different story. She was awarded the prize in 1991’ more than 20 years before she was allowed to come even close to power. Of course she must be taken to task for what has been happening since the day she started cajoling with the juntas.

    Ok PM Abiy! This is it! You have been in the office for about 16 months now. You have accumulated tremendous experience from what has happened since then.
    1) Places of worship including harmless priests were burned down to the ground in droves since you came to power. Please note that such people were doing nothing but preaching the eternal words of The Almighty. The perpetrators must be hunted down, caught, tried and be given stiff sentences including the death penalty. Timothy McVeigh was shown the gurney here in the Good Ole USA, The Beacon of Hope and Democracy for humanity because he deserved it. These savages should be given the medicine they rightly deserve.
    2) You must grab both Obbo Eskinder and Jawar by their ears and summon them to your office. They should be told to cut it. Otherwise, they can travel to Al’Qahirah and duke it out there in front el-Sisi. This is not the time to hold debutantes beauty contest. It is not funny!!!
    3) I commend you for citing the relics in Addis/Finfine as the national museum. I know what my own bigots used to tell me what they would do to them after they ‘liberate’ my proud and harmony mongering people. They would have bulldozed each and every one of them to smithereens. When it comes to Menelik I am from the school of the late President Negasso bin Gidada. While I disdain what his policy had done to many of his citizens throughout the country but I as a black man am proud of how he beat the living daylight of a colonizer bully. My grandfather had fought the soldiers of his warlords Abu Shaitan by the foothills of Mount Asabot and the plains of Harbaa(Bordode). There is an age old Itu gerersaa to tell about it. When every chief in the region from Massawa, Djibouti, Berbera, Mogadishu all the way to Cape of Good Hope in the south to the Bay of Senegal in the west to Libya in the north accepted bread crumbs from colonizers put their John Hancock on the dotted lines, my niggaaz under his out of the world diplomacy and courageous leadership, Adwa became where a bully was humiliated and handedly beaten as if he robbed a bank in the frontiers!!! I admire your courage in doing that.

    As always, this is my 2 red cents worth of an opinion and in no way meant to offend.

  3. The question is, all the so called opposition groups are now in Ethiopia. At the same time, the funny thing is that they are not complaining about Malaria, Cholera what have you. They are not even saying anything regarding the so called ethnic cleasing either. Its a handful of individuals outside the country who are synthesising situations from various parts of the world with their gloom and doom wish and heaping it onto the PM. Whether we like it or not, the PM is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. And he deserves it. When Emperor HaileSelassie was to be considered for the same prize for brokering a peace deal between the then Sudanese government and the Ngna Ngna movement in the Southern part of the country, some Ethiopians living abroad sent a petition to Oslo and blocked him from getting the prize. The Emperor has not commited any of the atrocities to the Ethiopian people than those commited by the two secussive governments. The dergue and the woyane were both ruthless and Godless. Enter Abey, he is on his way to usher in a new era, more democratic than any of the previous governments in the history of Ethiopia. Now then, why don’t we wait and see how the next vote will turn out to be.

  4. Ethiopian government in early 1998 was best friends with the Eritrean government. Within a matter of few months Eritrean government became worst enemies with the Ethiopian government.
    Unless the core reason of the Ethio-Eritrean war is adressed not one but hundreds of peace prizes do not bring lasting peace between the two countries. Both sides need to figure out what it was that turned the best of friends relationship they had into the worst of enemies that quick , then both countries leaders must instill in themselves and in their whole countries people to do a conscious effort for the reason that brought the Ethio Eritean war doesn’t happen again.

    Sugar-coating the real reason of why the Ethio-Eritrean war started, by saying the reason was the two cousins family feud (Meles Zenawi’s and Isayas Afeworki’s) personal feud war or border war over Badme, is not the way peace is achieved.

    The real truth of why the war started need to be addressed.

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