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World News

Colombian president wins Nobel Peace Prize as CSW 'staggered' peace deal rejected

by Hannah Tooley

He has received it for trying to bring an end to 52 years of war with the FARC rebel group - which has killed more than 200,000 people.

The deal was rejected by voters in a referendum just days ago but the president has promised to revive the peace plan.

Anti-persecution charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide says it was surprised the deal did not pass.

Mervyn Thomas from the charity told Premier he was shocked: "I was staggered."

He went on: "You've got to remember the former president, he was campaigning against [the deal] and he's got a lot of support, particularly in the area where he lives - and they voted overwhelmingly against it - so there are all kinds of politics involved in this."

AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

He said that he was glad the ceasefire has remained and the Nobel Prize winner is still working towards peace.

"Those people who were experienced voted overwhelmingly [in favour of the peace deal], whereas people elsewhere who could look on, almost disinterested, and from the safety of their places could say 'lets vote against this because we're giving them [FARC rebels] too much," he said.

"But the people who're affected were deeply disappointed."

Mervyn Thomas also said Christians have been affected in the bloody conflict: "Over the last ten years, something like 30 Christian pastors and leaders have been killed every year and that's one every couple of weeks - that's an awful lot, we don't hear anything about it, but it's going on."

Listen to Premier's Rick Easter speak to Kiri Kanwande, Stuart Windsor and Mervyn Thomas here:

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