Colombian president Santos wins Nobel Peace prize despite referendum defeat

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. He was awarded the prize for his work in bringing to an end one of the world’s longest-running conflicts - the 52-year war with FARC guerrillas. However, the decision was a surprise after the deal he negotiated was rejected by Colombians in a referendum last week because many reckoned it was too lenient on the rebels, who were to be allowed seats in government. However, there were also questions as why the rebel leaders who negotiated the deal were not given a share of the prize.

The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace,

Nobel committee statement

The prize was announced in Oslo. “The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end,” said committee chairwoman Kaci Kullmann Five. The award had been expected to go to Syria’s White Helmets, volunteers who pull victims from bombed buildings in the war-torn country. A petition backing them for the prize has more than 304,000 signatures.

Congratulations to the people and President of Columbia. We sincerely wish them peace

Syrian White Helmets