Announcing the prize in Oslo, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said Abiy’s “efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.”
The conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea over disputed border territory came at a huge financial and humanitarian cost for both countries.
Abiy, 43, also recently won plaudits for his role in helping to broker a power-sharing deal in neighbouring Sudan after a political crisis that led to the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the country’s ruler for almost three decades.
Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said Abiy — who has received both praise and criticism for his reforms in Ethiopia — has not been recognized too soon, but acknowledged “challenges remain unresolved” in the country.
“There is definitely a lot achieved already in reforming Ethiopia to democracy but there’s also a long way to go,” she added.
“Rome was not made in a day and neither will peace or democratic development be achieved in a short period of time.”
Reiss-Andersen revealed the committee had not been able to contact Abiy before announcing that he had been awarded the prize. “If he’s watching us now, I would just convey my warmest congratulations,” she added.
This is a breaking news story, more to follow.