The 2019 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed,
lauded for his deal last year with Eritrea, which ended two decades of hostility.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BERIT REISS-ANDERSEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE NORWEGIAN NOBEL COMMITTEE, SAYING:
"In Ethiopia, even if much work remains Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future."
Abiy said he was "humbled and thrilled" to receive the prize, in a phone call to the secretary of the Norwegian Committee.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ETHIOPIAN PRIME MINISTER ABIY AHMED, SAYING:
"Thank you very much. I'm so humbled truly when I just heard the news. Thank you very much. It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia, and I can imagine how the rest of Africa's leaders will take it positively to work on peace building process in our continent."
Abiy took office in April 2018 after his predecessor resigned following three years of protest and unrest.
He's since been praised for pushing Ethiopia towards new democratic freedoms.
But rights groups say more needs to be done to heal wounds after years of government repression.
Ethiopia and Eritrea were bitter rivals for decades.
They fought a war in the late 1990s in which upwards of 70,000 people died.
But in July 2018, Abiy was warmly welcomed to Eritrea by its president.
Their meeting was the first of its kind after a 20-year military stand-off.
Abiy is also hugely popular with young people in Ethiopia, where more than 40 percent of the 100 million-strong population are under the age of 15.
Residents in the capital welcomed the news.
(SOUNDBITE) (Amharic) BIRHANU DEMISSIE, RESIDENT, SAYING:
"It's great that he is such a positive thinker. He is steering us; I'm sure he will win other prizes - not only this one. Dr. Abiy is doing good work. And not only for our internal affairs - but also in making Ethiopia known in this way in the world."