However, the meticulous inventor and investor was unusually quiet about one specific issue: why he hand-picked a Norwegian Committee and bestowed upon it the privilege of awarding only the Nobel Peace Prize. Even the Norwegian Nobel Committee (NNC) itself expresses astonishment regarding the reason Nobel ‘left no explanation as to why the prize for peace was to be awarded by a Norwegian committee while the other four prizes were to be handled by Swedish committees.”
Whatever reasons that led Nobel to pick a Norwegian Committee to be the arbiter of global peace, he would probably never have even contemplated the likes of Aung San Suu Kyi joining the exclusive Nobel Peace Laureates League in 1991. A Nobel Peace Laureate who stands accused of being complicit in the most egregious crime in human history, genocide, would be anathema to Nobel. He must have turned and protested in his grave at least twice recently.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee’s pick for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize was also a controversial choice. Abiy Ahmed Ali is on course to be an embarrassment to the Nobel Peace awarding Committee and a huge disappointment to the global peace movement. Just months after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Prime Minister Ahmed signed a pact with the demons that have violently convulsed Ethiopia for decades and ruined the legacy of his predecessors: illusions of power and grandeur, the bane of Ethiopia’s political class.
The 2019 Nobel Peace Laureate is not a man of peace.
No one expects the gray minds and majestic contemplations of the lords of global peace to be flawless and perfect. That is asking too much. However, members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and the Norwegian Parliament must devise a mechanism to recall a Nobel Peace Prize when it is awarded wrongly to the wrong individual. Unfortunately, members of the NNC seem unable or unwilling to reconsider or rethink their verdict once they delivered it. The current Chair of the NNC, Berit Reiss-Andersen, ruled out any scenario in which the prize could be revoked. “We don’t do it. It’s not our task to oversee or censor what a laureate does after the prize has been won,” she said. “The prize winners themselves have to safeguard their own reputations.” She made these remarks in the context of a global petition to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. She most probably holds the same view about and expects the same from the 2019 Nobel Peace Laureate.
Alfred Nobel spells out protocols for revoking Nobel Prizes awarded to individuals who do not qualify and do not deserve.
To err is human. Many, including myself, initially fell for Abiy Ahmed’s fairy tale story beneath which lurked a Janus-faced tyrant. However, to insist on not rectifying a mistake or a tragic error of judgment, especially one that turns out to be heavily consequential, is NOT. Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee can muse leisurely in their iconic and hermetically sealed enclave not far from the North Pole. But the millions whose lives and hopes have been recklessly ruined by tyrants crowned as Nobel Peace Laureates must continue fighting for justice even if it is delayed.
Struggles for justice and human dignity may be hard and long. And the temptation to give up or give in quite strong, often irresistible. But occasionally they bear fruit in the most mysterious ways imaginable. Imagine the ghost of Alfred Nobel visiting members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in a dream on 10 December 2020 and revealing to them an amendment to his Will secretly locked in the basement of a law firm in San Remo, Italy. Imagine the dream coming true, and after protracted, ferocious, and costly legal battles confirmation that the amendment was authentic. And in it, Alfred Nobel spells out protocols for revoking Nobel Prizes awarded to individuals who do not qualify and do not deserve.
It could happen. Believe me. Miracles could happen in the land of the midnight sun.