President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC rebel leader “Timochenko” have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their commitment to Colombia’s ongoing peace talks to end decades of civil conflict.
Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), explained that Santos and Timochenko were nominated for their “commitment to the peace process which promises to end the Colombian conflict.”
The FARC and the State have been at war since 1964, leaving 260,000 Colombians dead and 6 million displaced but these two leaders hope to be the ones to conclude the blood-stained 51-year-long armed conflict.
The signing of the transitional justice deal on September 23 at a historical meeting between Santos and Timochenko, symbolized by a handshake, was a big moment for the Colombian peace negotiations.
Many considered the transitional justice deal to be the biggest obstacle for the negotiations because both sides feared the punishments that it would bring.
Both sides promised that the final peace deal would be signed by 23 March 2016.
Santos told the UN General Assembly, “next year, when I return to this Assembly, I will do so, God willing, as president of a peaceful Colombia, of a reconciled Colombia.”
Thanks to the promising development of the justice deal Santos and Timochenko feature in the list of 273 hopefuls for the peace prize which will be awarded on Friday in Oslo.
However, according the news agency AFP, one member of the Nobel committee said that a Peace Prize for Santos and Timochenko could be “a bit premature.”
Among the other nominees are Pope Francis for his commitment to social justice and the environment, US Secretary of State John Kerry and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, marked as favorite by Berg Harpviken, for her “moral leadership” in the European refugee crisis.
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