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Laureates to receive Nobel Prizes, except Bob Dylan

OSLO, NORWAY: In the absence of rock icon Bob Dylan, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will be the star of Saturday's Nobel ceremonies when he receives his Peace Prize in Oslo, crowning an achievement that came close to failing at the finish line. After a first peace deal rejected by the Colombian people, Santos's government and the Marxist FARC rebels renegotiated a new peace accord that was signed on November 24 to end a five-decade conflict that has killed more than 260,000 people, left 45,000 missing and forced…

Colombia signs revised peace deal with FARC

BOGOTA: Colombia's government and FARC rebels signed a controversial revised peace accord Thursday to end their half-century conflict, set to be ratified in Congress despite bitter criticism from opponents. President Juan Manuel Santos and guerrilla leader Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londono signed the new deal with a pen made from a bullet used in the conflict, in a low-key ceremony in the capital Bogota. The original deal -- signed with great fanfare in September -- was rejected by voters in a referendum last month, a shock…

Colombian government, FARC rebels strike new peace deal

HAVANA: Colombia's government and FARC rebels on Saturday announced a revised peace deal to end 52 years of armed conflict, after voters rejected a prior peace accord in a referendum. "We have reached a new final agreement to end the armed conflict, which incorporates changes, clarifications and some new contributions from various social groups, which we have gone through one by one," said a joint statement read out by diplomats from Cuba and Norway, the peace process guarantors. "Building a stable, lasting peace must…

Colombian president ‘inspired’ by North Ireland peace process

BELFAST: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said during a visit to Belfast on Thursday he was trying to follow Northern Ireland's path to peace and prosperity. Santos met Northern Irish First Minister Arlene Foster and her deputy Martin McGuinness at the end of a three-day state visit to the United Kingdom, the first by a Colombian president. Santos won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to implement a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, but voters rejected the…

Colombian President says hopes for new FARC deal by Christmas

LONDON: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in an interview on Sunday that he hoped to secure a new deal with FARC rebels by Christmas, warning that any further delay could make the peace process "explode". The government signed a historic agreement last month with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Colombia's biggest rebel group, but in a shock move, voters rejected the deal in a referendum on October 2. "All the negotiators and I have met almost every organisation and we are now digesting more…

Colombia’s president extends ceasefire with FARC through yearend

COLOMBIA: Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday extended his ceasefire with Marxist FARC rebels through the end of the year as he seeks to revive a peace accord to end five decades of war after voters rejected the hard-fought deal in a referendum. The original ceasefire, which was put in place in August, was nullified when the peace accord was rejected in plebiscite earlier this month. He had already extended it to Oct. 31. The decision comes as Santos and his team hear proposals from representatives of those…

Colombia peace bid ‘too far to turn back’ after Nobel: UN chief

OSLO: UN chief Ban Ki-moon hailed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday, saying it shows the country has come "too far to turn back now." The decision comes "at a critical moment when this special acknowledgement provides needed hope and encouragement to the Colombian people," the United Nations secretary general said about Santos's efforts to bring the country's half-century-long civil war with the FARC rebels to an end, despite voters' rejection of a historic peace deal.…

Shakira joins Colombian stars supporting FARC peace deal

BOGOTA: Some of Colombia's most famous artists, athletes and writers, from singer Shakira to soccer star Falcao, are lending their support to the peace accord with Marxist rebels that aims to end a half-century of war. Shakira, along with Juanes and Carlos Vives - two Colombian musicians popular across the Spanish-speaking world - sang stirring messages of reconciliation, forgiveness and love after President Juan Manuel Santos signed the peace pact Monday with the head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC),…

Colombia tipped for Nobel Peace Prize after deal to end war

OSLO: A Colombian peace accord ending a half-century of war is widely tipped for the Nobel Peace Prize next week, returning the award to its roots after a run of wins for organizations including the European Union. The prize might be shared by President Juan Manuel Santos and Marxist FARC rebel leader Timochenko - the nom de guerre of Rodrigo Londono - after they signed a deal on Sept. 26 to end a war that killed a quarter of a million people. "The agreement ... is one of the most obvious peace prize candidates I've ever…