LONDON - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year, mainly for the 2018 deal he reached with Eritrea to end a long-running border conflict. In accepting the prize in Oslo on Tuesday, Abiy insisted the prize also belonged to his "partner and comrade in peace, President Isaias Afwerki, whose goodwill trust and commitment were vital in ending the two-decade deadlock between our countries.”
Many observers hoped the deal would spark political reforms in Eritrea, where Isaias has ruled with a heavy hand for years. But analysts and activists are increasingly skeptical the deal will stop Eritrea's government from oppressing its own citizens.
Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki, left, and Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed talk during the inauguration of the Tibebe Ghion Specialized Hospital in Bahir Dar, northern Ethiopia, Nov. 10, 2018.
Since the deal, there have been no changes to laws designed to suppress political dissent and an independent media, and the government continues to impose indefinite military service on hundreds of thousands of people. While the borders between Ethiopia and Eritrea opened up in mid-2018, they were closed again after only three months as Eritreans left the country in large numbers.
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