Former Ethiopian PM Claims Credit For His Successor and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed Success
Ahead of the December 10, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for his efforts to “achieve peace and international cooperation”, his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn has come out to claim credit for PM Abiy’s achievements.
Mr. Abiy Ahmed was awarded the coveted peace prize in recognition of his peace deal with Eritrea which ended a 20-year military stalemate following their 1998-2000 border war.
His predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn speaking on Deutsche Welle’s political talk show Conflict Zone said “it is my party which started the reform process and we said the process should be a deep renewal to the country.”
“we believed in our party and the government that we need to reform our system, we need to bring about changes and we need to democratize our country.”
The former PM takes credit for Abiy Ahmed’s success: “I have done my share to bring this change to happen.” He added that “I made a room for this prime minister to act. I struggled very hard to bring him to power.”
Desalegn said that “it is my government and my party that admitted that there has been human rights abuse”, for example in prisons, under his rule from 2012 to 2018. Asked whether he would apologize to the victims personally he said: “If there is a need to I will.”
The former PM repeatedly stressed that it was his government that prepared the criminal investigation on human rights violations, and his successor now was finishing the task by charging the offenders.
Desalegn praised Ethiopia for “working very hard at double-digit growth and economic achievements” and easing poverty.
Mr Abiy was named as the winner of the 100th Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, where he will receive the award in December. The Nobel Peace Prize is worth about $900,000.
Editors Note: Content from DW’s political talk show Conflict Zone was used in this report