Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2016. The Colombian President had ended more than over five decades of fighting between FARC rebels and Colombian authorities.
The award was announced by Kaci Kullmann Five, a politician and head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in Oslo, Norway. The Nobel peace Prize committee recognized the peace deal signed between Government of Colombia and FARC rebels.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee in its citation said, “President Juan Manuel Santos’s resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220,000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people,” as reported by CNN.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee was of the opinion that this was a tribute to the people of Colombia for their resolute hope in peace despite years of hardships and abuses. According to the committee, the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 was a tribute to the victims of the civil war in Colombia.
The winning of Nobel peace prize 2016 by the Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos came as a surprise to many, as the people of Colombia had “Voted No” to the agreement signed by the Colombian President. People of Colombia believed that the deal was too lenient on the FARC guerrillas.
The Colombian President and the FARC Guerrillas will now have to renegotiate the peace deal. Following the winning of the Nobel Peace Prize by Juan Manuel Santos, the world leaders are expected to facilitate the peace deal that will be acceptable to all the parties involved.
Colombian President Santos’ administration had spent nearly four years negotiating the deal that ended more than five decades of violence. The popularity of the Colombian President has suffered because of the deal. Many people in Colombia view him as pro-guerrilla.
What exactly is FARC? FARC is an armed group of the communist party of Colombia. FARC have recruited young children to fight for them and, at one point, FARC had more than 20,000 soldiers and control of one-third of Colombia. FARC is believed to have made millions in Cocaine trade.
FARC’s most audacious act was the kidnapping of the Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in 2002. She was rescued in a rescue mission code-named “Jaque” in 2008, along with 14 other hostages. Juan Manuel Santos was the defense minister at the time of rescue.
Following the peace deal between Colombian President and the leader of the FARC rebels, Rodrigo Londono, the ordinary FARC soldiers have given up arms and are preparing to join their families. Santos had lost the vote for the peace deal by a margin of 50.21 to 49.78 percent resulting in an uncertain future for the FARC soldiers. The peace talks were initiated for the first time by Londono in 2008.
After winning the Nobel Peace Prize 2016, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos joins the long list of previous Nobel Prize winners who were awarded for their efforts rather than the final outcome, and won as an incentive to complete the ongoing work. The winning of the Nobel Peace Prize by President of Colombia is expected to change the views of people of Colombia towards the peace deal.
Apart from the Colombian President, other top Contenders for the Nobel Peace prize 2016 were Svetlana Gannushkina, a migrant rights advocate in Russia, Syrian activists who rescued bombing victims, and negotiators of the Iran Nuclear Deal. There were a total of 376 candidates in race for the 2016 Nobel peace prize.
The 2015 Nobel peace prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quarter, which consisted of Lawyers, activists, and employees who helped preserve democracy in Tunisia. Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were also nominated in 2015.
The Nobel Peace Prize is worth around $930,000. It will be presented to the President of Colombia on December 10 in Oslo. December 10 is the death anniversary of Sir Alfred Nobel.
[Featured Image by Craig Ruttle/AP Images]