With Ethiopia voting in parliamentary elections on Monday, here are the key dates in the life of its prime minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed.
– August 15, 1976: Born into a poor mixed Christian-Muslim family in the rural town of Beshasha in the central Oromia region. – Early 1990s: Starts a near 20-year career in the military as a radio operator, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. – 2008: Establishes the government’s cyber-spying Information Network Security Agency (INSA). – 2010: Elected to parliament with the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation, which is part of the ruling coalition. – 2016: After a brief stint as federal minister of science and technology, appointed vice president of the Oromia regional government.
– March 2018: Elected to lead the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition. – April 2018: Becomes prime minister, the first ethnic Oromo in the post. – June 2018: Announces Ethiopia will abide by a 2002 ruling by a UN-backed commission requiring it to cede territory to Eritrea. This launches a peace process that ends a 20-year-old stalemate. – October 11, 2019: Wins the Nobel Peace Prize for ending the conflict. – October 2019: Protests break out against Abiy that turn into ethnic and religious clashes in which more than 80 people are killed. – March 2020: Due to the pandemic he postpones an August election in which he would have faced voters for the first time as premier. – November 4, 2020: Orders a military response to what he calls a “traitorous” attack on federal army camps in Tigray. He sends the army north into the region, with Eritrean forces also involved. Abiy declares victory after a few weeks but seven months later the fighting continues, with the US warning of a “growing humanitarian disaster”.