Colombian President Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize

Santos negotiated an agreement with the FARC guerrilla group which was rejected by Colombians in a referendum.

Juan Manuel Santos
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Reuters

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 for his landmark efforts to end the county's 50-year civil war.

Santos negotiated an agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group, in a bid to bring back elusive peace in the country.

"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," the Nobel committee said.

However, the historic peace deal was rejected by a narrow margin by Colombians on Sunday. They believed that the pact was too lenient on the FARC guerrillas.

"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, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process," said a statement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

However, the award excluded FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londono, who signed the deal with Santos.

"The fact that a majority of the voters said "No" to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead," the committee added.

In 2015, Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a group of four organisation in the African country, won the Peace Prize for its work in building a pluralistic democracy in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.

Colombia's 50-year-long internal strife has killed about 260,000 people and displaced more than six million.

Santos was elected Colombian president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. The Nobel Committee had considered as many as 376 candidates - 228 were individuals and 148 organisations -- for the coveted prize.