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Colombia’s president wins Nobel Peace Prize

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wins Nobel Peace Prize

Published: Updated:

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a surprise after Colombians voted "No" to an agreement he signed with Marxist rebels to end 52 years of war.

Santos has promised to revive a peace plan even though Colombians, in a referendum on Sunday, narrowly rejected the accord. Many voters reckoned it was too lenient on the FARC guerrillas.

"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," said committee chairwoman Kaci Kullmann Five.

Obama: Nobel panel made ‘right’ pick with Santos

Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama on Friday hailed the courage of the Colombian President, and said the award was well earned.

“The Nobel Committee made the right decision in welcoming his tireless efforts to bring a just and lasting peace to Colombia,” Obama said.

“This award is a testament to President Santos’s unwavering, courageous leadership through years of difficult negotiations.”
The Nobel committee raised eyebrows by giving Obama the prize in 2009, just months after he entered the White House.

“The democratic vote this week is a reminder that there is still work to be done to realize the future for which President Santos and so many citizens are striving,” Obama said.

“But it’s also a sign that the national dialogue Colombia needs is taking place now and is building on the momentum created by four years of difficult negotiations.

“President Santos and the citizens of Colombia are reshaping their country for the better, and I am pleased the Nobel Committee is recognizing their work as they keep pushing toward peace.”

(With Agencies)