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Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy is criticized by a Nobel body for his views on war

COPENHAGEN (AP) -- Thursday's rare warning from the Norwegian Nobel Committee to the 2019 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Abiy Ahmed, was issued by the committee. It concerns the humanitarian crisis and war in Ethiopia's Tigray region.

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Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy is criticized by a Nobel body for his views on war

The Oslo-based committee stated in a statement that Abiy Ahmed, as prime minister and winner the Nobel Peace Prize has a special responsibility for ending conflict and contributing to peace.

Abiy was awarded the prize in part for his efforts to make peace with Eritrea, a neighbor, after one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts.

The committee stated that Abiy Ahmed was the winner of the prize because of his efforts and the reasonable expectations for 2019, adding that the historical background included an authoritarian regime and ethnic conflicts.

After political tensions escalated into war, Abiy's government granted Eritrean forces entry to Tigray in November 2020. Many thousands have been killed and many more are now in danger of starvation as Ethiopia's government has withheld almost all food and medical assistance from Tigray since June.

"Nowhere in this world are we witnessing helllike Tigray," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (who is also a former Tigray official) said to reporters Wednesday that the WHO approached Abiy's office asking permission to send medicine into Tigray.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that "the humanitarian situation is very grave" and that it was unacceptable that aid is not provided in sufficient amounts.

The prime minister's office did not immediately comment.

In December, Ethiopia's conflict entered an entirely new phase when Tigray forces moved back into their territory following a military offensive. Ethiopian forces declared that they would not be moving further. Aid workers claim that airstrikes continue killing civilians in Tigray. A weekend strike killed more than 50. On Monday, President Joe Biden called Abiy to raise concerns about another airstrike, killing 17 civilians.

Also, the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that its discussions are confidential. "Furthermore it is not our responsibility to continue commenting on Ethiopian developments, or to evaluate the position of Peace Prize laureates after they have been awarded the prize."

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