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Event: The Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos awarded by the Nobel Prize

Friday, 07 October 2016

The colombian president Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded by the Nobel for 2016 to  for his 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

« 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. This tribute is paid, not least, to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war » says a communiqué of the Nobel Prize commitee in Norway.

President Santos initiated the negotiations that culminated in the peace accord between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas adds the communiqué, and he has consistently sought to move the peace process forward. Well knowing that the accord was controversial, he was instrumental in ensuring that Colombian voters were able to voice their opinion concerning the peace accord in a referendum.

Even if the outcome of the vote was not what President Santos wanted: « a narrow majority of the over 13 million Colombians who cast their ballots said no to the accord. There is hope because  the parties, headed by President Santos and FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londoño, continue to respect the ceasefire.»

« The fact that a majority of the voters said no to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead. The referendum was not a vote for or against peace. What the "No" side rejected was not the desire for peace, but a specific peace agreement.»

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