Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Wins 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
President Santos has been announced as this year’s Nobel Peace laureate for his efforts to bring peace to Colombia.
The country has been engaged in decades-long civil war with FARC guerillas.
President Santos said he was “humbled and eternally grateful” for the award.
Santos’s government narrowly lost a referendum on a peace deal aimed at ending the more than 50-year civil war with FARC guerrillas earlier this week.
Nevertheless, he has been chosen as 2016’s laureate by the Norwegian Nobel Committee “for his resolute efforts” to end Colombia’s 50-year-long civil war.
Speaking at the press conference in Oslo, committee leader Kaci Kullmann Five said:
“President Santos initiated the negotiations that culminated in the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas.
“And he has consistently sought to move the peace process forward.
“Well knowing that the accord was controversial, he was instrumental in ensuring that Colombian voters were able to voice their opinion concerning the peace accord in a referendum.
“The outcome of the vote was not what President Santos wanted: A narrow majority of the over 13 million Colombians who cast their ballots said no to the accord.”
Spokeswoman for Nobel Prize declined to comment as to why Londoño, also known as Timochenko, had not been given a share in the prize.
Juan Manuel Santos Wins 2016 Nobel Peace Prize
Analysts say it was perhaps because Timochenko is the head of a guerrilla organization and it would be inappropriate.
She mentioned that the Nobel committee does not comment on those who do not become a laureate.
The unsuccessful referendum has plunged Colombia into political uncertainty.
This has now forced Santos to start negotiations with former President Álvaro Uribe.
Alvaro Uribe initially led the campaign to reject the deal.
Santos announced that the bilateral ceasefire will end on October 31, opening the possibility of renewed confrontations.
Speaking via telephone to Adam Smith of Nobel Media, Santos said he was “grateful” for the award.
He hoped it would be a “stimulus” to complete the peace process.
“I receive this with great emotion. This is something that will forever be important for my country — for the people who have suffered with this war, especially the victims.”
“This is a great, great recognition for my country, I am humbled and eternally grateful.”
Santos becomes the second Colombian-born Nobel winner.Gabriel García Márquez won the literature prize in 1982.
Gabriel García Márquez won the literature prize in 1982.