Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will not attend the traditional press conference BBC
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will not attend the traditional press conference when he collects his Nobel Peace Prize
The move has been heavily criticised.
Nobel Committee Secretary, and Director of the Nobel Institute Olav Njølstad told the media that Mr Abiy’s decision is problematic for the committee.
“The Nobel Institute and the Nobel Committee had wished that Abiy Ahmed had agreed to meet Norwegian and international media. We have been very clear about this and also explained that for a number of reasons we find the situation highly problematic,” he told NRK Media.
“I believe [the reasons behind] are related to the challenges he’s facing in his country, and also partly to do with his religious faith and personal humility,” he added.
Mr Abiy’s spokeswoman Billene Seyoum told Reuters news agency that the prime minister had to make priorities given the “extensive program” and his responsibilities back home.
She added that this had been agreed upon in consultation with the Nobel Institute.
She also said that it is culturally unacceptable for Ethiopians to show off.
“At a personal level, the humble disposition of the prime minister rooted in our cultural context is not in alignment with the very public nature of the Nobel award,” she told Reuters.
Mr Abiy will arrive in Oslo on 9 December, a day before the ceremony.
He was awarded the prize in October for his efforts to “achieve peace and international cooperation”.
His peace deal with Eritrea ended a 20-year military stalemate following their 1998-2000 border war.