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Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos Wins Nobel Peace Prize 2016

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 has been awarded to Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president, for his efforts to end his country’s 50-year civil war.

Mr Santos negotiated a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) guerrilla group but the peace deal was rejected by a narrow majority of Colombians when it was put to referendum.

The Nobel committee said it was giving the award to Mr Santos despite the referendum defeat to “encourage all those who are striving to achieve peace, reconciliation and justice in Colombia”.

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The five-person committee, made up Norwegian academics, politicians and lawyers, also defended its decision to give the award solely to Mr Santos rather than splitting it between him and Farc guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londoño.

In the past the Nobel Peace Prize has been jointly awarded to leaders on both sides of a conflict, as it was Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1994.

“President Santos has been taking the very first and historic initiative, there have been other attempts to try to reach peace deals in Colombia but this time he went all in,” said Kaci Kullmann Five, the chair of the committee.

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Written by PH

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