United States President Donald Trump believes he was snubbed by the Nobel Committee for last year’s peace prize, adding that the award was unfairly awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
In a video clip, shared by American journalist Aaron Rupar on Twitter, Trump can be seen telling his supporters, at a campaign event in Toledo, Ohio, that he “saved a big war” but was overlooked for the Nobel Peace Prize.
According to BBC, President Trump was referring to the 2019 peace prize winner, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. However, the US president did not take Abiy’s name in his speech.
Abiy, 43, became Africa’s youngest head of government after coming to power in April 2018 following months of anti-government protests that had led to the resignation of his predecessor.
Abiy is credited for introducing massive liberalising reforms to Ethiopia, shaking up what was a tightly controlled nation, said the BBC.
In October 2019, the Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the Ethiopian premier for his efforts to end the country’s decades long conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.
The 43-year-old since taking over the country started mending relations with Eritrea after decades of conflict between the countries. On July 9, 2018, following a historic meeting in Eritrea’s capital Asmara, Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki formally ended a 20-year-old stalemate between the countries in the wake of the 1998-2000 border conflict.
A peace deal was signed later that year, and embassies have been reopened and flight routes between the countries resumed.
The peace deal also brought back Eritrea from the cold after sanctions were imposed in 2009. The UN Security Council lifted the sanctions in November 2018, four months after the peace deal was signed.
However, according to the BBC, Washington did not play any major role in defusing the tensions between the two countries.
BBC’s former Ethiopia correspondent Emmanuel Igunza highlighted that it was United Arab Emirates, which has a lot of influence in the Horn of Africa, was key in helping to bring the two parties together.
He added that Riyadh also played a key role in helping end the dispute. It is also interesting to note that the US president is yet to congratulate the Eithopian prime minister for winning the prize. However, his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and daughter Ivanka Tump, who is an adviser to the president, did congratulate the Ethiopian premier.—AP