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NAIROBI — President Trump’s speech at a rally in Ohio on Thursday night was typical in that it laced thoughts about current events together with criticism of his opponents. But his comments Thursday included a remark that caught the attention of many in Ethiopia, whose prime minister was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, largely for his work securing a peace deal with neighboring Eritrea after decades of hostilities.

“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, ‘What, did I have something do with it?’ ” Trump asked the crowd.

“Yeah,” Trump said, answering his own question. “But that’s the way it is.”

Trump played no apparent role in the Eritrea peace deal, but Washington has played a convening role in another deal Ethio­pian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is seeking with Egypt that will regulate how quickly Ethi­o­pia can fill a new dam it has built in the upper reaches of the Nile River that has major implications for the flow of water Egypt relies on economically.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed poses with his Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 in Oslo. (Hakon Mosvold Larsen/Pool/EPA-EFE/REX)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed poses with his Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 in Oslo. (Hakon Mosvold Larsen/Pool/EPA-EFE/REX)

The apparent conflation of the two led to widespread befuddlement on social media in Ethi­o­pia and elsewhere, though by and large the comments were not taken seriously.

The U.S. Embassy in Ethi­o­pia referred reporters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks in October congratulating Abiy for his prize.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday tweeted “Trump is confused” about why Abiy was awarded the prize.

House Foreign Affairs Committee

@HouseForeign

Trump is confused.
PM @AbiyAhmedAli was awarded the @NobelPrize for his efforts to bring peace to the Horn of Africa, not stalled negotiations about a new dam on the Nile.

If they gave the Nobel for deals that didn’t happen, the Pres. would have a shelf full of them. https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1215435613203202048 

Aaron Rupar

@atrupar

Replying to @atrupar

“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, ‘what, did I have something do with it?'” — Trump whines about not having a Nobel Peace Prize

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“He was talking about Egypt and Ethiopia,” a senior Ethio­pian government official told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media on the matter. “President Trump really believes he avoided a war as such … but that was not the case.”

Ministers from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, which controls a stretch of the Nile between its two sparring neighbors, will meet in Washington next week to discuss the ongoing impasse in talks concerning the dam.

Ethiopia’s peace deal with Eritrea led to a reopening of borders and diplomatic relations. Eritrea was part of Ethi­o­pia until it seceded in 1993 and then fought a bloody war to retain its independence that began in 1998. The war resulted in at least 80,000 deaths. Eritrea still has mandatory conscription, which tens of thousands have sought to avoid by migrating to Europe and countries on the nearby Arabian peninsula.

Trump, for his part, has rarely commented on African affairs, and while he is often criticized for neglecting the continent, he remains popular in Kenya and Nigeria, according to a recent poll that similarly neglected to survey most of the continent’s 54 countries.

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Max Bearak is The Washington Post’s Nairobi bureau chief. Previously, he reported from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Somalia and Washington, D.C., for The Post, following stints in Delhi and Mumbai reporting for the New York Times and others.Follow

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4 comments

  1. Bretton Woods don’t mean neither Jeffrey Epstein nor Harvey Weinstein as many Ethiopians think it does , there is unity but that don’t mean they are one .President Trump united these entities for achieving the common goal of rescuing the peace loving people of Ethiopia and Eritrea brought to their attention by those world class prostitutes pimped by Abiy Ahmed, we stressed the urgent need of action to make peace a reality .
    Jeffrey Edward Epstein was a person that worked in banking and finance world class prostitute who is missed by many , Jeffrey Epstein paid for death is the biggest sacrifice since Surveillance video from Jeffrey Epstein’s first apparent suicide attempt goes missing it ‘no longer exists’.
    Trump says Epstein conspiracy theory, claiming Clinton connection as NBC News
    Web results
    Bill Barr calls Epstein’s death a ‘perfect storm of screw-ups’
    .
    Jeffrey Epstein Died by Suicide, Autopsy Report Says – Variety

    .
    Bill Clinton photographed aboard Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’

    .
    Jeffrey Epstein accuser on his death: ‘There’s no way that guy took his life’

    1. An amhara man, disguised himself by veiling with name derived from a western world, Beaberq. You r original name is chaniyalew, debalkew, difabachew, gichew etc that are given to you from your aggressive neftegnas to you. please donot be afraid to introduce yourself with your real name. Must be proud of your identity as a killer, robber, prostitute etc ashebari neftegna you escaped to US by stealing public money and some fled to US by stealing expensive tools that has to do with the country’s electro-telecommunication service.

      Drop dead We do know you as amharan man seeking to fullfil US dreams! You can’t hide your jealousy and hate against TPLF!
      Beaberq , yedebteralij
      Drop dead man

  2. Our outspoken, & unreticent world leader, Mr Donald Trump ,clearly told us the fact that he intervened in our national affaire, politics or economy, etc and smuggled Ibin Aby Ahmed to the Minilik Palace, cave where neftegna elites hide themselves and rob the public money and kill whoever, esp non-amhara, they dislike.

    My revered appreciation goes to his excellency the ourspoken leader, Mr Trump even if he reduced to our continent to a shithole!!Since he expressed publicly the intervention of the US govt in Ethiopian Politics and type of help he imparted to Abiy, the full-time serial killer and banda! BTW, He promised to tell the truth and that he will have nothing to hide before his people during first speech at his presidential inauguration.This is not a surprise for many of us , but could be a lesson for those people who incessantly try to disprove the fact that Abiy is not a banda and stooge for foreign organizations.

  3. የትራምፕ አባባል እንደገባን ከሆነ.
    “ከእጅ አይሻል ዶማ ለውጥን ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ያስመጣሁት ተቀላጣፊ ዲፕሎማትዬን Fukuyama’ን በማሽቀርቀር ነው:: ከዚህም የተነሳ ኖቤል ሽልማት አመለጠኝ:: ከድፕሎማሲ መጠቀም ይልቅ በቀጥታ ወሪርያቸው ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ ከሃዲዉ ወያነም ከመከላከል ይልቅ የዘረፈውን ንብረት ብቻ እንድተውለት ተግባብቶኝ ዝም ብሎ ወደ መቐለው ይገፈተር ስለነበር፣ እኔም የሰላም ሽልመቱ ተቀባይ እሆን ነበር:: ሽልማቱ ወደ ኢትዮጵያ የሄደው ጠቅላላው ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ሰላም ነፍሶ ሳይሆን፣ ሃገሪቱ ውስጥ አመፅ እና ማለቅያ የለሽ በደል እንደ ንፍሮ ስለተንከተከተ አይደል እንዴ!!_ “

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