A Son and Father Reunited, Like Many Under Nobel Winner Abiy's Ethiopia-Eritrea Peace Deal

The New York Times 5 days ago

ADDIS ABABA — For Samson Berhane, the news that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was deeply personal.

The 27-year old journalist credits Abiy's peace deal with Eritrea last year for reuniting him with his father. Like thousands of other families they had been separated by two decades of hostility with Ethiopia's longtime enemy.

Abiy, Africa's youngest leader, was awarded the prestigious prize on Friday for his efforts that ended the border conflict.

"When I first heard that Abiy won the prize, I was doubting the trustworthiness of the news. I felt so happy confirming it," Samson told Reuters in an interview.

While Samson is Ethiopian, his father was originally from Eritrea.

Samson's office in Addis Ababa is filled with books on Eritrea's history that he began reading to discover his roots after he first met his father.

After the peace deal, thousands of families were reunited for the first time since 1998, the year the war broke out.

"He (Abiy) made history by making peace, which is more valuable than anything. He reunited the two brotherly people," Samson said.

YEARS OF SILENCE

Samson’s father, Berhane Ashmelash, left for Eritrea in 1997 to attend mandatory military service. Samson was five years old.

The father had planned to return to Ethiopia after having served but never made it back as the war broke out a year later.  

His family did not hear from him for years as communications between the two countries were cut off. They thought he had died.

After the peace deal, direct international telephone connection and flights between the two countries were restored, enabling people to communicate and travel.

Samson decided in 2018 to fly to the Eritrean capital Asmara and look for his father. He went to the Ministry of Defence, which keeps a database on all those who served in the military, to seek information.

Together with the workplace and phone number of his father, Samson found out that he had seven half siblings as his father had remarried in Eritrea.

"It was a mind blowing moment," he said.

"We both almost cried when we saw each other. For a moment, I couldn't stop hugging and staring at my dad," he said recalling the moment when they first met a day after his arrival in Asmara.

Samson's father lives in Asmara, but they now regularly communicate with each other.

"We speak at least once in a week over the phone," he said.

(Writing by Giulia Paravicini; Editing by Katharine Houreld and Clelia Oziel)


Source link
Read also:
One America News Network › 6 days ago
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - For Samson Berhane, the news that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was deeply personal.
Reuters › 6 days ago
For Samson Berhane, the news that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was deeply personal.
BBC News › 1 week ago
Ethiopia's prime minister Abiy Ahmed - who made peace with bitter foe Eritrea - wins Nobel Peace Prize.
Reuters › 1 week ago
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his peacemaking efforts which ended two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.
The New York Times › 1 week ago
Ethiopia is "proud as a nation" for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's Nobel Peace Prize award, his office said in a statement on Friday.
The Sun › 1 week ago
GRETA Thunberg has been snubbed for the Nobel Peace Prize with has been awarded to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister for ending the 20 Eritrea conflict. Bookies had suggested the teen climate campaigner was the front runner for the illustrious honour, just a...
UPI › 1 week ago
The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 on Friday to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to secure peace with neighboring Eritrea.
The Week › 1 week ago
The prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, was awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Friday. The Nobel committee applauded Ahmed's "efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation," as well as his "decisive initiative to resolve the border...
Telegraph › 1 week ago
The Nobel Committee’s decision to award its Peace Prize to Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, marks a return to tradition.
CNN › 1 week ago
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia has emerged one of the favorites to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize from a list that includes Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR