ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been given a hero’s welcome by thousands in his return from Norway where he received the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Residents of Addis Ababa, as well as senior Government officials, gave him a warm reception on Thursday morning in honor of his fit as Ethiopia’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner.
A 21-gun salute was also fired in honor of the Prime Minister. Abiy received this year’s prize in recognition for his crucial role in putting a stop for two-decade-long enmity between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
He now wants to meet the President of Eritrea soon, in what is likely to be an effort to kick start the stalled reconciliation process.
“The award has helped to draw attention to Ethiopia, Eritrea and the East Africa region,” Abiy said shortly after arriving in Addis Ababa. “I hope we will celebrate this milestone in Eritrea soon.”
The prize is also in recognition of his efforts to build democracy in Ethiopia and contribution to peace and reconciliation processes in East and North East Africa.
“The award is both a source of a great pride and an inspiration both in Ethiopia and in the broader region,” his office said on Tuesday. “The prize will give a significant boost to the prime minister’s deep commitment to the twin goals of peace and development in Ethiopia and the entire continent”.
Abiy received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo last Tuesday.
Image: Residents of Addis Abeba and top government officials gave him a hero’s welcome on Thursday morning [Photo Aron Simeneh/PM Office]