STOCKHOLM (AP) — The winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize says his horrifying experiences as a young Ethiopian soldier informed his determination to seek the end of a long conflict with a neighboring country.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke at Oslo City Hall during the ceremony in Norway’s capital where he received his Nobel on Tuesday, saying: “War is the epitome of hell for all involved. I know because I was there and back.”
Abiy won the prize, in part, for making peace with Eritrea after one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts. Abiy served in the army during the war.
“Twenty years ago, I was a radio operator attached to an Ethiopian army unit in the border town of Badame,” he recalled. “I briefly left the foxhole in the hopes of getting a good antenna reception….It only took but a few minutes. Yet upon my return I was horrified to discover that my entire unit had been wiped out in an artillery attack.”