Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Man Helping End 52-Year War
Colombian president won despite voter rejection of deal with rebels
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2016 4:32 AM CDT
Updated Oct 7, 2016 6:11 AM CDT
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos delivers a statement to the press after meeting with former President Alvaro Uribe and other opposition leaders earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File)
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(Newser) – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for what the Nobel Committee calls "his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end," the AP reports. Santos and Rodrigo Londono, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia left-wing rebel group, signed a historic deal late last month to end a 52-year conflict that had killed more than 220,000 people—only for voters to reject the deal in a shock referendum result the following week.

A Nobel Committee spokeswoman said that despite the rejection, Santos "brought the bloody conflict significantly closer to a peaceful solution," and the committee hopes the prize will help give him the strength to keep striving for peace. The Syrian White Helmets, volunteer rescue workers who operate in rebel-held areas of Syria, had been considered the favorite to win the prize, the Guardian reports. "Congratulations to the people and President of Columbia. We sincerely wish them peace," the group tweeted.