Must a Nobel Laureate condone a crime to maintain the prize?


Igniting a war is simpler than standing for peace. Human intention is always ready to engage in a war than sitting for roundtable peace talk. That is why; the road to peace is rougher than the road to war. When comparing the two in terms of their consequence, even if it requires us to pay immeasurable sacrifice, a peace deal makes both sides a winner. Instead, war would not bring lasting peace as both sides would lose what they have. What is more, the scar it leaves is not scratched easily. Sometimes, it may create wound infection and strain the two sides to engage in endless variance. In any case, war has no value.

On the other hand, even if you are interested to solve tribulations through dialogue, it requires the desire and willingness of the other side. What if the other side does not accept the call to peace by its counterpart, even though the consequence of war drag the two parties back to poverty? Whoever won the war, people were exposed to various calamities—the loss of life, destruction of infrastructures and the like. Thus, in order to make peace talk, the two parties should come up with win-win situation even if they have different political stance and outlooks.

In different social media, people wrote; “Nobel Peace Prize winner front line fighter.” This is a totally wrong perception. This statement was written without bearing in mind the relentless effort of the government led by Nobel Peace Laureate Prime Minister Abiy just before things went wrong up until now. Abiy’s government freed all the political prisoners apart from allowing others in exile due to their political perception. He widens the political space via reestablishing independent democratic institutions such as the Election Board, Human Rights Commission, the justice system and so on.

Premier Abiy also smoothen the no peace-no war situation between Ethiopia and Eritrea into cooperation. These are some of the reasons that convinced organizers of the Nobel peace prize to honor Abiy as a winner. “The Norwegian Nobel Committee fully understands that peace is created in cooperation with others. We are awarding the Peace Prize to you as an individual because you have personally made an extraordinary difference across several arenas.”

On contrary, since that day on, some TPLF members have not been contented on the peace prize. Without limiting themselves in that, they wrote a letter to the Nobel Peace Committee indicating that Abiy is not the right person to receive the prize. Apart from writing the jealousy letters, they were creating chaos here and there to force Abiy’s team to be desperate and ignite war against TPLF, arrest politicians as well. However, the government scrutinized every activity of today’s terrorist groups in patience. Using the previous political ladder, they had been disrupted and nagged the country through orchestrated chaos in every corner of the country.

Until they assaulted the Northern Command Defense Force, the incumbent stood in fortitude via refraining itself from firing a bullet on them. Before the law enforcement operation, Abiy called up on TPLF leaders and its supporters to solve differences through intensive dialogue sending elders. They were more confident enough in their shoulders than engaging in the peace process. The government later understood that if things continue they are, the people would question its existence. Accordingly, it launched a law enforcement operation. Thanks to ENDF things were reversed within 15 days of operation, though the international community yelled at the premier.

As per the responsibility it has, the government assigned some people in Tigray to serve the people under the interim government as part of the peace process. However, TPLF leaders and members gunned down people who were working under the interim government and propelled the conflict further. Even if the Ethiopian government sought to resolve things through dialogue, some other political parties were also propounding the same issue together with TPLF. The government then arrested the captured TPLF leaders not only to ensure peace in the country but also to secure them from any attack. If we see this as part of the peace process, what the government has been doing so far is quite precise.

However, the TPLF terrorist group reorganized its militia and proclaimed civil war against the rest of Ethiopia. The situation was tough to the government as the member of the terrorist group looted Amhara and Afar peoples’ property, raped women and dismantled social institutions. In this case, as it has the legal responsibility of protecting the right to live in peace, the government has taken measures on these anti peace elements. Had the government not been taken this measure, one can be intrigued to conclude that this terrorist group would come to dialogue as its vision had been see a country isolated once and for all. Again the government stretched its hands of peace terminating the lawsuit of TPLF terrorist group and political leaders. This clearly stipulated the government’s firm stance to realize peace through putting national dialogue in place.

As we all recall, while honoring Prime Minister Dr. Abiy, Noble peace prize committee chairman said “Dr. Abiy Ahmed, you were appointed Prime Minister in a country facing a multitude of challenges.” If this is so, how can all these challenges can be addressed overnight without the willingness of other parties? Where is the support of the committee who said, “The Norwegian Nobel Committee stands beside you and supports your efforts for a democratic, peaceful society.”

I believe that the Nobel Prize committee should not serve as a tool for yoking neocolonialism. Some western countries have left no stone unturned to arm-twist economically poor countries to heed to their orders. Unless the Nobel Prize committee turns a deaf ear to them, people may question its loyalty. Whoever says what, Ethiopians stride to ensure peace will continue through making dialogue with all parties willing to do so. Must a Nobel Laureate condone a crime to maintain the prize? By no means!

First, the Premier, and presumably all Nobel Prize winners do not do the feat which won them the prize purposely to win the prize. But it is a good manner for the winners to humbly receive the prize if the awarding committee believes they deserve. That is exactly what PM Abiy did.

Yet, if the awarding committee comes up with preconditions and warnings, then the profile of the award would surely fall into question. Future prospects for the award would also be suspicious and reluctant to receive the award. Hence such tendency would diminish the dignity of the award.

Instead, the Norwegian Nobel Committee should stand by the side of Ethiopian government and support its efforts for a democratic, peaceful society. Ethiopia has started democratic journey as the fate of the country should be decided by the Ethiopian people and the Ethiopian people alone. And this is the only way Ethiopia chose to consolidate peace and prosperity in the country.

Editor’s Note: The views entertained in this article do not necessarily reflect the stance of The



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