Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos just won the Nobel Peace Prize

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize early Friday morning.

The announcement comes as surprise after a referendum in Colombia Sunday failed to ratify Santos' peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — aka Farc — rebel leaders: A meager 0.4% majority voted against it.

The peace deal, which was negotiated over four years by the government and Farc, would have formally brought an end to the country's ongoing civil war.

PHOTOS: See the Colombian president

14 PHOTOS
Juan Manuel Santos
See Gallery
Juan Manuel Santos
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos talks during a news conference after a meeting with Colombian former President and Senator Alvaro Uribe at Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2016. REUTERS/John Vizcaino TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Colombian former President Alvaro Uribe (L) greets President Juan Manuel Santos at Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2016. Colombian Presidency/Handout via Reuters. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos shows his vote for a referendum on a peace deal between the government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels at Bolivar Square in Bogota, Colombia, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/John Vizcaino TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (C) and Vice President German Vargas Lleras shake hands with citizens during a major demonstration in favour of the agreement, in Barranquilla, Colombia, September 27, 2016. Colombian Presidency/Handout via Reuters/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos poses for a portrait as he exits a Reuters Newsmaker conversation in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos gestures during an interview with Reuters at the Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia September 5, 2016. Picture taken September 5, 2016. To match Interview COLOMBIA-SANTOS/INTERVIEW REUTERS/John Vizcaino
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (C) arrives at Toncontin International airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (L) and Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez wave during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, Honduras April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera
Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos addresses a news conference next to Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales (not pictured) after a welcoming ceremony at the National Palace of Culture in Guatemala City April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Josue Decavele
United States Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos shakes hands after their joint news conference at the State Department in Washington February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
U.S. President Barack Obama listens as President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia speaks during a reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a bilateral meeting with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Ecuador's Rafael Correa (L) shakes hands with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos during a bilateral meeting in Cali December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The award was given to Santos "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said on its website.

"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," it added.

During the announcement in Oslo, Norway, a Nobel committee spokeswoman refuted the suggestion awarding the prize to Santos was disrespectful of Colombian democracy, given the people's decision to vote against the peace deal.

"The people of Colombia did not say, 'no' to peace," she explained. "They said, 'no' to this particular deal ... This is extremely important to avoid that a civil war flares up again."

She refused to comment on whether the committee considered Farc leaders to be joint recipients of the Peace Prize.

The announcement can be watched here:

Source: YouTube

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

20 Folks Recall Shocking Interview Moments That Made Them NOT Want the Job 20 Folks Recall Shocking Interview Moments That Made Them NOT Want the Job
Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going Man Suspects His Wife Is Cheating On Him - Then His Daughter Reveals What's Really Going
Rescuer Sees Bumps All Over This Dog's Skin - Then X-Rays Reveal The Tragic Story Rescuer Sees Bumps All Over This Dog's Skin - Then X-Rays Reveal The Tragic Story