Colombian president receives 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo, Dec 10 (IANS) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos received the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, for his efforts to bring his country’s five decade-long civil war to an end.

At the ceremony held at the Oslo City Hall, Santos received a medal, a personal diploma and prize money of $870,000, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The award has been made to President Santos alone. But it is also intended as a tribute to the Colombian people,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, deputy chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Santos initiated the negotiations that culminated in a peace accord between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest rebel group.

“Many groups and individuals have contributed to the peace process and deserve our thanks and tribute, including tireless negotiators, facilitators, diplomats, politicians and of course, leaders from the government and the FARC guerrillas,” Reiss-Andersen said.

On October 7, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his resolute efforts to bring Colombia’s civil war to an end, just four days after a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC was narrowly rejected in a referendum.

However, Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londono signed a revised peace agreement in November, which was ratified by both houses of the Colombian Congress.

The country’s half-century old conflict has left 220,000 people dead and millions of people homeless.

–IANS

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