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The 2016 Nobel Peace Prize goes to Colombian President

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the 52-year conflict with left-wing rebels FARC.The Nobel Committee in Norway praised him for his peace agreement with FARC rebels, signed last month after four years of negotiations.

Just days earlier, President Santos had shaken hands with rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, known as Timochenko, at a historic ceremony in Cartagena that sealed the agreement.

The conflict has killed about 260,000 people. More than six million have been internally displaced.
President Santos was selected from a list of 376 candidates - 228 individuals and 148 organizations. They included: the Syrian White Helmets; civil defence volunteers who rescue bomb victims; negotiators of the international deal to limit Iran's nuclear programme; Greek islanders on the frontline of Europe's refugee crisis.

The award did not include FARC leader Rodrigo Londono, known as Timochenko, who signed the accord with Santos.
His efforts to reach peace and end the conflict earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016.
Santos did not always have the optimistic and conciliatory tone that he is now being praised for.
Less than a decade ago, while serving as defence minister, he authorized the controversial bombing of a FARC camp in Ecuador without informing the neighbouring country.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known as FARC by its Spanish acronym) are Colombia's largest rebel group.
They were founded in 1964 as the armed wing of the Communist Party and follow a Marxist-Leninist ideology.
Their main founders were small farmers and land workers who had banded together to fight against the staggering levels of inequality in Colombia at the time.

While FARC includes urban groups, they have always been an overwhelmingly rural guerrilla organization.
FARC was founded at a time of brutal repression against any form of action considered subversive.
Colombia has historically been a country which has suffered huge levels of inequality, where vast swathes of land are owned by a very small elite.

This is partly due to the fact that the Colombian state sold off large tracts of land to private owners in the late 19th and early 20th century to pay its debts. FARC's main enemy has been the Colombian security forces while its fighters have attacked police stations and military posts, and ambushed patrols.

Some of its founders had established an agricultural commune in the region of Marquetalia, in central Tolima Province.
Inspired by the Cuban revolution in the 1950s, they demanded more rights and control over land. (BBC)
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