The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Santos was recognised for his efforts to end the 52 years of war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
The nominees in this category were Pope Francis, Russian activist Svetlana Gannushkina, the negotiators of the Iranian nuclear deal, Jeannette Kahindo Bindu – a DRC group working with survivors of sexual violence, the Syrian White Helmets, German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Congolese gynecologist Doctor Denis Mukwege, Jean Nacatche Banyere,whistleblower Edward Snowden; and Greek islanders who work to help refugees when they arrive from perilous journeys across the Mediterranean.
Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize days after the Colombian electorate voted against the peace deal referendum. According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee“The referendum was not a vote for or against peace”. The vote was against a specific peace agreement and there is still the desire for peace in the country.
According to the Washington Post, “The award comes at a particularly fraught time for peace around the world. Efforts to impose a cease-fire in the grinding conflict in Syria have collapsed amid the worst violence in the five-year war. Colombia faces uncertain prospects as leaders regroup following the rejection of the peace deal”.