Colombian President Santos Rewarded

He is the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

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Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos was on Friday, October 7, 2016 awarded the prize of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo.

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He is awarded for his efforts to end the 52-year-old war with the Marxist rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), that has killed more than 200,000 people, Reuters reports. The Nobel Committee said he had brought one of the longest civil wars in modern history significantly closer to a peaceful solution. "The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people," Reuters quoted Norwegian Nobel Committee chairperson, Kaci Kullmann Five as saying.  Reacting to the award, Colombia’s Ambassador to Norway, Alvaro Sandoval Bernal said, "It's a message of hope for my country and for peace in Colombia. It reiterates that there is hope for the peace process in Colombia."

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The Nobel committee leader Kaci Kullmann acknowledged the fact that the prize comes at the moment Colombians in a referendum narrowly rejected the agreement between government led by President Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londono, better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko. She however said that voters did not say "No" to peace but to the agreement. "The fact that a majority of the voters said "No" to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead,"  a statement from the Nobel committee said.

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Talking about the caution that needs to be taken, Kaci Kullmann said, "There is a real danger that the peace process will come to a halt and that civil war will flare up again. This makes it even more important that the parties, headed by President Santos and FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londoño, continue to respect the ceasefire.” There are signs of hope as President Santos had reportedly promised to revive the peace plan. "The Committee hopes that the peace prize will give him strength to succeed in this demanding task,'' its chairperson said.

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