The Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 has been awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos 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 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.
”Thank you from the bottom of my heart and in the name of all the Colombians, especially the victims.” President Santos said on being awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. He emphasised that he received the award on behalf of his fellow citizens.
Mr. Santos dedicated his Nobel Peace Prize to the victims of his country’s civil war, which he has worked to end through a contested peace accord with communist rebels.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 7, 2016
“I am infinitely and whole-heartedly grateful for this honor,” he said in a televised address. “I receive it not in my own name, but in the name of all Colombians, especially the millions of victims of this conflict that we have suffered for more than 50 years.”
One of the five prizes instituted by Alfred Nobel, the Peace Prize is awarded to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
Last year’s Peace Prize went to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.”