Friday, October 7, 2016


Five years ago I talked with Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos in a village outside Cartagena and he told me of his hopes for resolving the half-century-old guerrilla war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC..
 Since then he has continued to attempt to negotiate with FARC rebel commander Timochenko and finally succeeded in hammering out a historic treaty.
  Now his efforts have been rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize despite the fact that the treaty was narrowly defeated in a referendum, raising fears that the conflict could be re-ignited.
   The judging committee praised him for saying he will fight for peace until his last days in office, saying: "The committee hopes that the peace prize will give him strength to succeed in this demanding task. Further, it is hoped that in the years to come the Colombian people will reap the fruits of the reconciliation process."
  The award to President Santos came as a surprise because Syria's rescue workers, the White Helmets had been tipped as the people's favourites for the prize after pulling 62,000 people alive from smashed buildings in Syria, often with bombing still going on.

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