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  1. ITV Report

Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Juan Manuel Santos is said to have been 'overwhelmed' by the award. Credit: Reuters

Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr Santos was awarded the prize despite Colombians narrowly voting 'No' to an agreement he signed with Marxist rebels to end 52 years of conflict.

The president had agreed the landmark deal with the Farc rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño, who is also known as Timochenko, in August.

It included an agreement for both sides to permanently cease hostilities and for rebels to down their weapons.

Juan Manuel Santos and Farc rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño have an historic handshake. Credit: Reuters

The Nobel committee said Mr Santos had been selected as the recipient "to encourage all those who are striving to achieve peace, reconciliation and justice in Colombia".

"The fact that the majority of the voters said no to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead," committee chair Kaci Kullmann Five, said.

"The referendum was not a vote for or against peace...What the 'No' side rejected was not the desire for peace but a specific peace agreement."

The committee's secretary, Olav Njoelstad, said the Colombian leader was "overwhelmed" after learning he had won the award.

"He was very grateful. He said it was of invaluable importance to further the peace process in Colombia."

The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 8 million Swedish crowns (£751,000), will be presented in Oslo on December 10.

Mr Santos' win was a surprise as his prospects were thought to have diminished after voters rejected the peace accord in a national referendum on Sunday.

50.2%
opposed the deal with a difference of less than 59,000 votes.

The country's conflict with Colombia's rebel movement has claimed the lives of an estimated 260,000 people and displaced millions.

President Santos has vowed to revive the peace plan after the referendum result.