Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
Santos won 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 Nobel Committee said.
The award came despite voters’ shock rejection of the terms of a historic deal he reached last month with FARC chief Rodrigo Londono, alias Timoleon “Timochenko” Jimenez, after nearly four years of talks.
Syria’s “White Helmets” who rescue victims of the civil war there and Greek islanders from the village of Skala Sikaminias were among the 376 nominees — 228 individuals and 148 organizations.
In all, 97 peace prizes have been awarded to 130 laureates since 1901. Only 16 women have been given the prestigious prize, which is chosen by a five-person committee picked by Norway’s parliament.
The average age of all peace prize laureates between 1901 and 2015 is 61. It has been awarded to 103 individuals and 26 organizations. Last year’s recipient was the National Dialogue Quartet group “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.”
Alfred Nobel founded the prize as part of his last will and testament. He died in 1895. He specified the peace prize should go to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
Champion of non-violent struggle India’s Mahatma Gandhi was nominated no fewer than five times but never won, a decision the Nobel Committee has since said it got wrong.
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