Ethiopia is undergoing a radical political transformation under the new Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed. Many are recommending him for the Nobel Peace Prize and rightly so.

By Mohammed A. Nurhussein MD (Black Star News) |

I traveled recently in my homeland, Ethiopia, half the time with my three children in the North, the East –primarily to see the fabled ancient walled city of Harar– and the South to visit the Bale Mountain National Park, a rain forest with a diversity of animal and plant life, some of them like the red fox and nyala, found only in Ethiopia.

It is a hidden eco-treasure. Meantime the country is undergoing a radical political transformation under the new Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed. Many are recommending him for the Nobel Peace Prize and rightly so.

My reasons will be clear in my commentary and observations below.

I was eager on my first morning in Addis Ababa on June 14 to get macchiato at my favorite neighborhood cafe. I was not prepared for what I saw. The street adjacent to my apartment facing the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) building was packed with a mass of humanity moving in one direction. I didn’t fare any better with the other parallel streets. Wave after wave of people, mostly young, were streaming down to the main highways such as Megenagna and Bole Road; they were moving like a mighty river converging from all directions at the huge Revolution Square, renamed Meskel Square.

An estimated four million people had come from the city and the surrounding towns and villages to show their support for the new Prime Minister. Needless to say, I didn’t get my coffee as I was swept by the moving crowd. The whole scene had a festive carnival like atmosphere, almost all had T-shirts with the PM’s photo, carrying signs like- “We have your back,” “You are the Messiah,” “You are our Supreme leader,” “The Messenger of Love,” and so forth.

Dr. Abiy addressed the crowd and he didn’t disappoint. He is a gifted orator; but it is his constant message of forgiveness, love, unity and Ethiopian-ness that has resonated with the people in all regions of Ethiopia. He has become the rock star of Ethiopian politics.

A brief background leading up to his emergence as a leader might be in order. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is a coalition party made of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM).

The TPLF, which bore the brunt of the armed resistance to the previous repressive military regime under Mengistu Haille Mariam –sacrificing some 60,000 combatants– wielded a disproportionate share of the power within the coalition.

Continue reading Why Ethiopia’s Dr. Abiy Ahmed is a legitimate Nobel Peace Prize candidate at Black Star News
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