After 1983 a big movement was ignited to separate the then one people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Eritreans all over Ethiopia at the time saw this as an opportunity but all also the beginning of bad days. One incident in Debretabor involved a woman who had been married to a Derg soldier. When the referendum was started this woman voted for it; and many Eritreans who opposed the idea were praised and admired.
In 1990, the former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi made a shocking announcement which was the cause for many Eritreans who participated in the referendum were forced to leave their homes. Families and relatives were separated. Out of all those forced to leave was the woman from Debretabor. After she reached her home she was jailed by Eritrean soldiers for being suspected of being a spy because of her husband who was a Derg soldier. She sold everything she had to the Eritrean soldiers and came back to her children and home in Debretabor and was again under suspicion for being a spy for the Eritreans. Not being wanted by both countries, she ended up at a refugee camp in Canada.
Stories like that are plenty. When the current prime minister set out on the trip to Eritrea, it was assured that only politicians wanted to separate these people; it was seen on the tears of the people when the borders were opened, on the excitement on the first flight to Eritrea and more. Dr. Abiy’s decision was one of the causes for his nomination for the Nobel peace prize.
The Nobel Prize has been awarded to remarkable individuals for decades and the first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1901. The prize is awarded for several types of influential contributions in chemistry, literature, peace, physics, physiology or medicine and economic science. Even though the nominees are kept secret, many media outlets have announced the three finalists for the prize. The first was the Swedish Bareta Tanburg. This 16 year old is an environmental advocate and climate change activist. The second is P/M Dr. Abiy Ahmed whose efforts in making peace with in and out of the country have made him a nominee for the prize. The third is New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arian. The steps she took following the horrible terrorist attacks on a mosque were the reason for her nomination.
Harar’s secretary Afendi Muteki has stated his opinion saying “Nobel Prize does not predict or show what would happen in the future.” He was quoted saying “the leader of the soviet union Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded for revolutionary renaissance. However the Soviet Union was dismantled a year later and Gorbachev ran for a place in the Russian leadership and failed after getting the least number of votes. He ran again after four years and then once last time. He did not run for the election after that.” He also mentioned Myanmar’s leader to justify his claims. Such comments and more have been stated to criticize the P/M’s right to the award.
Eritreans living in Sweden and Norway had gathered to protest the award saying that the peace is only in words and there is still no democracy. They believe that P/M Dr. Abiy Ahmed is responsible for the Eritrean President Esayas Afewerki’s stay in power. Another reason for the protest is the closing of Ethio-Eritrean borders which the government claims is to halt the illegal trading going between the two regions.