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A plea to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee not to desecrate the Nobel Peace Prize

By Haile Tessema in collaboration with family members, friends & colleagues
Tigrai Online Oct. 9, 2019

A plea to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee not to desecrate the Nobel Peace Prize

Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Abiy Ahmed for destroying Ethiopia is encouraging dictators and will desecrate the the Noble Peace Prize institute.

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It's with total astonishment and dismay that we just learned from Reuters that "Ethiopia's peacemaking prime minister emerges as a Nobel favorite".

This makes us wonder has the definition of peace changed lately or is someone making a mockery of what peace is all about. Worse, is the life of Africans valued less that the yardstick for a candidate from the "dark continent" has been curtailed?

Still, to give the benefit of the doubt that you just might be out of the loop on what has been happening in Ethiopia under the watch of PM Abiy Ahmed, here are a few highlights that should prove the man does not belong in the list of Nobel Prize candidates never mind to be a "favorite".

  1. To win the support of larger ethnic groups and in a conduct unbecoming of all people's leader, he has used slurs against an ethnic minority.
  2. In a politically motivated and ethnic targeting move, he has put politicians, military leaders and ordinary citizens from an ethnic other in prison with no legitimate due court process. In doing so, what he accomplished is installing a revolving door on prisons, i.e. freeing previous inmates in a hoopla, and getting credit for that, while quietly letting new political prisoners in.
  3. In a federal system wherein the right of regions and their governments is constitutionally recognized, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has infringed on regional jurisdiction thereby causing or exacerbating conflicts.
  4. Many of the regions have become politically unstable and a high security risk, particularly the Amhara Region where top administrative leaders, including the president of the region, have been killed as a result.
  5. Ethnic conflicts and attack on unarmed innocent civilians have skyrocketed causing death and displacement of millions of citizens including women & children.
  6. Abiy Ahmed's chief of staff general, along with a retired general colleague, was assassinated in a suspicious manner whereby the PM is implicated.
  7. The rule of law is in disarray and peace and security is in crisis in most parts of the country.
  8. Crime -- including organized crime backed with heavy firearms -- is on the rise. Even the country's & Africa's capital, Addis Ababa, which in the past only experienced petty crimes of pick pocketing & purse-snatching is now hosting heavy crimes such as bank robbery & kidnapping.
  9. Embassies, which were viewed as sovereign properties, hence off-limits have become targets for home invasion.
  10. If you are already aware of these facts yet your sole criterion is the peace agreement with Eritrea, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia has failed miserably even in that.

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Indeed, despite the big show of visits by the two heads of state to their respective countries, the much talked about newly opened borders were closed soon after the lavish celebrations and the media came to an end.

So, there is no justification to honor Abiy Ahmed with the most respected prize in the world.

To the contrary, doing so will lower the prize's value; make a travesty of peace, and will only end up breaking the hearts of victims, their families, supporters and compel people with common sense to ask how and why?

Furthermore, it will encourage Abiy to continue on his path of reckless leadership, and serve as a bad precedent for other leaders that wrong actions could bring rewards.

This message might be a bit late as the winner is said to be announced in this coming Friday, but not too late to change a wrong & unjust decision.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.