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In Ethiopia, a Nobel Peace laureate goes to war

In Ethiopia, a Nobel Peace laureate goes to war


Last year he won the Nobel Peace Prize. This year, he went to war.

But to those familiar with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s life and political career, his morals haven’t changed.

A onetime soldier, his country’s current fight has ignited a refugee crisis and may further unsettle the precarious Horn of Africa region. A Pentecostal Christian in a religiously diverse nation — still the youngest leader on the continent at age 44 — he’s shown a penchant for shaking up the status quo.

His career shaped by conflict abroad and ethnic divisions at home, Abiy — who in his Nobel acceptance speech said war creates savage men — responded to an attack last month by an armed separatist movement in the nation’s northern Tigray region with a military campaign of his own. Experts say the resulting civil conflict is the inevitable result of Abiy’s attempt to unify under a central government the many ethnic groups of Africa’s second most populous nation.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the European Council headquarters in Brussels on Jan. 24. (Associated Press)
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