The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed will receive his 2019 Nobel Prize on Tuesday.
He is expected to give his acceptance speech in the Norwegian capital, Oslo but the 43-year-old leader will not take questions from members of the press according to reports.
The Nobel Committee is scrambling to get Mr. Ahmed to change his mind and spare them a major embarrassment.
Mr. Ahmed has rarely given interviews since taking office last year.
They said the PM is refusing even to field questions from the young students who traditionally are offered that opportunity at an event hosted by Save the Children.
“The Nobel Institute and the Nobel Committee wishes Abiy Ahmed had said ‘yes’ to meeting Norwegian and international press,” Olav Njølstad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and secretary for the committee that annually awards the Peace Prize, told Norwegian Broadcasting.
Njølstad traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, last week in an attempt to convince Abiy to attend at least one of the four press conferences traditionally scheduled over the three-day ceremony, which begins Monday.
“We have been very clear about this and have clarified that there are several reasons we find this highly problematic,” Njølstad said.
The prime minister’s press secretary, Billene Seyoum, has pushed back against what she said are “erroneous” interpretations of Mr. Ahmed’s decision.
Other winners have failed to engage with the media including Former US president Barack Obama who also declined to speak to reporters when he won the peace prize in 2009.
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