Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday won the Nobel Peace Prize, even though the peace treaty his government had signed with rebel group Farc (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) fell through. Santos got the coveted prize "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end". After the announcement made by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Farc leader Rodrigo Londono congratulated Santos on Twitter.
The award is a "tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace", the committee said. It emphasised on "the importance of the fact that President Santos is now inviting all parties to participate in a broad-based national dialogue aimed at advancing the peace process.
It was earlier reported that Colombia had been dropped from the list of favourites for the prize after the country voted against the peace treaty between the government and the rebel group. Kristian Berg Harpviken, the head of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, had said, "Colombia's off any credible list."
In a referendum on October 2, Colombian voters had rejected the peace treaty signed with the Farc group. The deal was rejected by 50.2% of voters, with 49.8% approving it. Thirteen million ballots were cast in the referendum to approve the treaty, which ended a 52-year-long civil war in the South American country.
Colombia now has two Nobel laureates. Author Gabriel García Márquez had won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982.
The Nobel prizes are awarded by the Nobel Foundation, established on the instructions issued by the inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel. The 2016 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi on Monday.