Nobel committee "deeply concerned" with Ethiopian military actions in Tigray
Oslo, Norway -Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed has been plunged into a fresh crisis following reservations by the Nobel Peace Prize committee over military actions in the Tigray region, which is currently under the onslaught from the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] after orders from the PM.
On Monday, the committee which was part of the team that announced Ahmed as the 2019 winner of the lucrative award, said it was "deeply concerned" about fighting in the country and appealed for de-escalation, over a week after the conflict was activated by the Federal Government of Ethiopia.
"The Committee is following developments in Ethiopia closely and is deeply concerned," its secretary Olav Njolstad told AFP.
"It reiterates today what it said before, namely that all parties involved share responsibility for halting the escalation of violence and contributing to resolving differences and conflicts by peaceful means."
The Nobel Committee's five members are appointed by the Norwegian parliament, and it is extremely rare for it to comment on a past Peace Prize laureate. In 2019, Abiy was honored for his efforts to heal divisions with Eritrea, long an enemy of Ethiopia, as well as for his democratic reforms at home.
But he has come under fire since launching a military campaign against dissident northern region Tigray. Almost 25,000 Ethiopians have already fled the fighting and the crisis risks destabilizing the entire region, AFP added.
"In 2019, and still today, the Committee thought that Abiy Ahmed was the candidate among the 300 nominated who best fulfilled" the Peace Prize criteria laid out by founder Alfred Nobel, the group said.
But a defiant Ahmed accuses the Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF] of fueling the crisis, adding that his administration will continue protecting civilians. Reports from the Tigray region indicate that thousands of civilians have fled to neighboring Sudan.
"The Ethiopian government is ready to receive and reintegrate our fellow Ethiopians fleeing to neighboring countries. We vow to our innocent civilians that have fled, to protect their property, enable humanitarian support by the ENDF and guarantee their peace upon return," he noted.
Despite the pressure on Addis Ababa to de-escalate the crisis, Ethiopia continues to receive backing from the neighboring countries over the offensive. After Eritrea and governments of various regions within Ethiopia, Djibouti on Monday supported military action in Tigray and vowed to defend Addis Ababa.
"Djibouti Government supports the Unity and the Territorial Integrity of Ethiopia. And Recognises PM Ethiopia Abiy’s Gov as the sole Guarantor of that Unity and Territorial Integrity. Ethiopia’s Stability and Peace remains Paramount Importance for the Region," said Ilyas Dawaleh, a minister in the Djibouti government.