Nobel peace prize winner Abiy Ahmed embroiled in media row

The Guardian – Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, has come under pressure to appear before the media in Oslo this week when he collects the Nobel peace prize on Tuesday.

Senior officials of the Norwegian Nobel Institute have said the 2019 winner’s refusal to attend any event where he could be asked questions publicly is “highly problematic”.

Olav Njølstad, the secretary of the Nobel committee, said it would “very much have wanted Abiy to engage with the press during his stay in Oslo”.

“We strongly believe that freedom of expression and a free and independent press are vital components of peace … Moreover, some former Nobel peace prize laureates have received the prize in recognition of their efforts in favour of these very rights and freedoms,” he said.

Nobel peace prize laureates traditionally hold a news conference a day before the official ceremony, but Abiy has told the Norwegian Nobel committee he does not intend to do so.

Neither will the 43-year-old leader take questions from reporters after his meeting with the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, nor participate at a traditional annual event with children celebrating peace at the Nobel Peace Center museum.

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