By RFPosted on 11-10-2019Modified on 11-10-2019 at 11:02

The news fell on October 11 at midday. A craftsman for the reconciliation of his country with Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Artisan reconciliation of his country with Eritrea, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received this October 11 the Nobel Peace Prize 2019. Aged 42, he is also since March 2018 the first Prime Minister in history of his country to come from the Oromo ethnic group. Under his leadership, Ethiopia and Eritrea announced their reconciliation on July 9, 2018, after 20 years of hostilities against a background of border dispute. Two decades of bloody civil war, between 1998 and 2000, during which more than 80,000 people lost their lives.

This historical rapprochement was soon accompanied by a series of strong symbolic acts: bilateral visits with great pomp, reopening of embassies and several border posts, resumption of air traffic between Asmara and Addis Ababa. Two months after the announcement of their reconciliation, Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Issayas Afewerki signed a historic peace agreement in Saudi Arabia.

" Revolution "

"Abiyot", as he was nicknamed "child" and means "revolution", was born in the small village of Beshsa, 500 kilometers from the capital Addis Ababa. He got involved early in politics in the Democratic Organization of the Oromo Peoples (ODPO), one of the components of the coalition that will eventually bring him to power. One of the triggers, according to his relatives, is the death of his brother, Kada, killed by members of a rival Oromo movement, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

At only 15 years old, Abiy Ahmed joined the ranks of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Front (EPRDF) a few months before the fall of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, who headed the dictatorial regime of the Derg for seventeen years. He is then sent as a blue helmet to Rwanda after the genocide of Tutsis, and then occupies a post in telecommunications, his specialty, at the time of the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. In total, Abiy Ahmed will have spent twenty years in the army.

A Protestant Christian, Abiy Ahmed was born to a Muslim Oromo father and an Orthodox Amhara mother, a miscegenation that should serve as an asset to lead a country of one hundred million inhabitants, the second most populous in Africa, in the throes of a political crisis social and economic. Abiy Ahmed said on April 11 in front of the crowd gathered in Ambo, a town in the Oromia region and a hotbed of protest in the last two years: " We are entering a new era, a period of transformation of our country in a more inclusive state. We now have the responsibility to turn these hopes into reality . "

See also: Abiy Ahmed, new face of Ethiopia

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