Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has dedicated his 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to the victims of, and those who have lived through, the 52-year conflict with FARC rebels.
He won the award for his efforts to end the country’s civil war, which resulted in the signing of a peace accord.
“Colombian people, this prize is yours. It’s for the victims and it’s meant to prevent further victims, even if it’s just one more. Because we have to reconcile and unite to bring this process to completion and to start building a stable and long-lasting peace,” Santos said.
The Nobel committee said it hoped the prize would ‘give him strength to succeed in this difficult task.’
“The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace. And to all the parties who have contributed to this peace process.”
The win came as a surprise to some. The peace deal Santos negotiated with the FARC rebels collapsed earlier this week, following a referendum in which voters narrowly rejected it.
Santos has vowed to continue to work towards peace until his final day in office.
It was a rare win for South America, which trails Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.