Santos to donate Nobel prize money to conflict victims
Bogota, Oct 10 (IANS) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said he will donate the money from the Nobel Peace prize to help the victims of the 52-year conflict in his country, the media reported.
He was awarded the prize for reaching a peace agreement with the FARC rebel group last month. “Last night, I met with my family and we have decided to donate those eight million Swedish krona ($925,000) to the victims,” Santos said on Sunday, BBC reported.
The deal (with FARC) was rejected a few days later by Colombian voters in a referendum.
At least 260,000 people have been killed and more than six million internally displaced in Colombia.
Santos made the announcement in the city of Bojaya, after taking part religious ceremony for people affected by the conflict.
The head of the Nobel committee said on Friday the award recognised the president’s “resolute efforts” to end the conflict.
“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 the peace process,” Kaci Kullman Five added.
Santos said he dedicated the award to “all the victims of the conflict”.
The award did not include the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) leader Timoleon Rodriguez, better known as Timochenko.
He also signed the accord after nearly four years of negotiations held by government and rebel delegates in the Cuban capital, Havana.