The Nobel Prize is considered one of the most interesting and prestigious medals in the world today. This honor is conferred every year on those who have made significant contributions to the development of human welfare and civilization. Nobody wants to miss the opportunity to get familiarity in the world by achieving Nobel Prize. So when the names of the Nobel laureates are announced every year, there is no shortage of interest from the world. But it is not a new phenomenon in the world that many people, who have been awarded the Peace Prize for spreading the message of peace all over the world, have become corrupt. At least in the 100 years since the Nobel Prize, the world has seen it more than once. On Sang Suu Kyi of South Asia and Abi Ahmed of Horn of Africa are two such names.
Abi was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother. Abi was a meritorious student. His personal life is full of many achievements. Politics did not disappoint him either. Popularity has made him prime minister from an ordinary member of parliament. Peace in Ethiopia was his hope. But in the society in which he grew up, Muslim-Christian riots were a daily occurrence. Abi was elected a Member of Parliament in 2010 and returned to bring peace to his area. Keep preaching the message of peace. In this effort, he founded an organization called “Religious Forum for Peace”.
Abi has spent his political life protesting. He has opposed the government in establishing fair demands. This protesting entity quickly made him a part of the public mind. Ethiopia’s unrest, which began in 2015, ended with the resignation of the country’s prime minister three years later. In the face of protests and demonstrations, the then Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalzen, resigned on 15 February 2018. Abi Mohammad became the Prime Minister in support of fate by unloading various political equations. Since becoming the Prime Minister, he has taken various steps to build a modern country. He tried to break the old culture and superstitions and decorate Ethiopia in a new way. He played the most important role to restore peace in the Eritrea-Ethiopia crisis. The conflict, which began in 1998, has left thousands of people dead and wounded in Africa. From there, Abi Mohammed set a unique precedent by concluding a peace treaty with Eritrea. This peace effort captures the Nobel Prize of Pride. Abi Ahmed is one such leader who turned two decades of bloody conflict into peace, who has raised his voice in protest on behalf of the people. Abi Ahmed is still the Prime Minister of the country. But Ethiopia is not at peace. The whole country is burning with unrest.
In November last year, there was a sudden attack on a military base in Tigre, Ethiopia. After the attack, Abi Ahmed ordered a military operation in the name of restoring the rule of law in the province. The region’s ruling political party, the Tigre People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), was ousted. Initially, the TPLF-backed rebels were forced to retreat. They took refuge in the mountains after losing the provincial center Mekele. Abi Ahmed claimed his success but it did not last long. The rebels regained strength and are now advancing on the country’s capital. Abi Ahmed, who once gave a message of peace by laying down arms, is now urging the people of the country to bear arms. Asking to dig graves for the rebels. But according to the United Nations, 4 million people in Tigre are at risk of starvation. Ethiopia’s neighbors are at war. Ignoring the cries of these hungry people, why is Abi telling the common people to take up arms for war? Why does he see the path of unrest as the solution?
The TPLF was in power in Ethiopia for 10 years before Abi Ahmed came to power. Abi Ahmed was declared the Prime Minister to restore stability in the country after the fall of the Helimarium Desalgen government in the face of mass movement in 2015. Ethiopia is divided into 10 regions, and a coalition is needed to form a government. There were 4 parties in the TPLF alliance. But after Abi came to power, the alliance broke up. And Abi Ahmed formed the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front (EPRP), excluding the TPLF. This angered the region’s influential regional leaders. The TPLF won a landslide victory in the 2020 regional elections. But Abi refused by citing corona. In this, the division is more pronounced. Which was provoked by Abi Ahmed’s military campaign. The domestic dispute started.
On Sang Suu Kyi is another powerful leader in South Asia. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. She won the award for his non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. Note that the wheel of democracy of Myanmar, which gained independence in 1947, was not moving for long. An era of independence saw the emergence of an authoritarian military government in the country. Like her father, On Sang Suu Kyi followed the path of speaking for the people of her country, a path that was thorny, difficult, narrow. Educating in higher education did not stop the struggling life of this woman. Her movement for democracy for the common people in Myanmar is not stopped. It is because of this movement that Aung San Suu Kyi has to spend most of her life under house arrest. He spent 15 of the 21 years from 1989 to 2010 under house arrest. The reason was to speak out against the junta government of the country, to oppose injustice, to stand by the oppressed.
It was through this uncompromising leader that Myanmar’s authoritarian military rule came to an end. Suu Kyi became the country’s supreme leader. But Suu Kyi was not able to hold on to this achievement for long. Behind democracy, he has given the freedom to the army as before. One silent minority after another expressed support for the torture. The junta against which he fought all his life, he compromised with them for invisible interests. As a result, more than one million Rohingyas had to emigrate, and Suu Kyi had to bear the stigma of a barbaric genocide. The fate of more than one million Rohingyas is in doubt. Because the military has regained control of the country.
Rebellions are raging in Myanmar and Ethiopia. The country of On Sang Suu Kyi and Abi Ahmed, two great Nobel Peace Prize-winning leaders, is wounded and bloody. The Nobel Peace Prize has come, but peace has not returned to their country. One is fighting against the government, the other is telling the people to take up arms to keep the government afloat. Time is teaching them, but in this test of time their followers, the common peace-lovers, have to sacrifice.
Only one person who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize has rejected it. He is Le Duc Tho from Vietnam. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating a ceasefire in Vietnam. But in the end, he refused the Nobel Peace Prize because peace had not returned to his country. This precedent is unique, which is an extraordinary protest against unrest.
On the other hand, the activities of these two Peace Prize-winning leaders are truly unimaginable. They have struggled. they have worked tirelessly for the country and the people. But blinded by an invisible interest, they are undermining their ability. They are getting the badge of more and more condemned from the world. So the question arises, what is their unseen interest? Is it anything bigger than a Nobel Prize?
MD Akij Mahmud is a student of Department of history, University of Chittagong.