ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has responded after US President Donald Trump appeared to take credit for Abiy’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Abiy received the Nobel Peace Prize last month for his efforts to end a 20-year-old stalemate between the countries over a 1998-2000 border conflict.
US President Donald Trump made a controversial statement earlier this week in which he complained about Abiy receiving the prestigious award.
Last week, Trump claimed it was he that “made a deal” and “saved a country” – a possible reference to his work on another dispute involving Ethiopia.
“To be honest, I don’t have any clue about… how the Nobel committee selects an individual for the prize,” Abiy told reporters during a press briefing in South Africa.
“If President Trump complained it must go to Oslo, not to Ethiopia,” he added.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee said Abiy was awarded the prize for resolving the bitter border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.
The neighboring countries fought a border war between 1998 and 2000, leading to the deaths of some 80,000 people and bitter relations for two decades.
Abiy also championed political and social reforms in Ethiopia, a country that was previously governed by leaders accused of being unsympathetic to their people.
He told supporters at a political rally last week that he had helped avert a war in “a country” and expressed surprise that his efforts were not recognized.
“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 to do with it?’ Yeah, but you know, that’s the way it is,” he said.
A Twitter account run by the Democrats in Congress teased Trump saying he seemed to not know why Abiy won the peace prize, according to the BBC.
The tweet said the president had confused his meeting last year in November with representatives from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, over a dispute about the use of the Nile waters, as worth of a Nobel prize.
Image: Abiy receiving the Nobel Peace Prize from the head of the committee in Norway, Oslo, last month [Photo PM Office]