By Sheena McKenzie, CNN
The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to end his country’s long-running civil war with FARC rebels.
The Nobel committee made the announcement in Oslo on Friday, five days after voters in Colombia narrowly rejected a peace deal that Santos’ government had spent years negotiating.
In its citation, the committee said it had awarded Santos the prize for “his 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.”
It added: “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.”
Santos said he accepted the prize “on behalf of all Colombians, especially the millions of victims of this conflict which we have suffered for more than 50 years.”
Peace prize, but no peace deal
Santos’ administration spent four years negotiating a deal with the former guerrilla group FARC that would have ended five decades of war.
The rejection of the deal by Colombians last weekend was a major blow for Santos, whose popularity has suffered over his support of the deal. Critics of the deal said it didn’t do enough to punish the rebels.
Now it seems the rebels and the Colombian government, facilitated by international leaders, will have to go back to the drawing board to reimagine a peace that is acceptable to victims of murder, extortion and kidnapping.
What next for the deal?
The ceasefire signed between the government and FARC rebels will expire at the end of October, Santos announced on Tuesday.
He has now tasked a three-person panel with reworking the deal.
“I hope that we can advance in our accords and dialogues so that we can settle on the arrangements, and the agreements that allow us to put in place a solution to this conflict,” Santos said in a televised statement.
Who is Juan Manuel Santos?
Born in Bogota in 1951, the former Navy cadet pursued degrees in Britain and America before returning to Colombia to work as a journalist.
In 2005 he helped found the Social Party of National Unity (Partido de la U), Colombia’s largest political party.
Santos has been Colombia’s president since 2010.
“Perfect peace is impossible, but a good peace, like the one we just negotiated, that’s the best thing for every Colombian and for the world,” Santos told CNN in August ahead of the referendum.
“Because always to have peace is much better to have war.”