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The Nobel Interview: Juan Manuel Santos

As Colombia’s president receives the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, he discusses the FARC peace deal and challenges ahead.

According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the 2016 Peace Prize is a tribute to the people of Colombia, awarded to President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to bring his country’s more than 50-year-long conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to an end.

Latin America’s longest conflict has killed at least 220,000 people and displaced millions more.

“For my country, it’s a game-changer. Fifty-two years of war with the FARC that ends now and we start building peace, which is going to be equally, or even more difficult, but it’s really a tipping point in our history,” says Santos.

Just days after an elaborate peace deal signing ceremony, Colombians rejected the agreement in a referendum. So Santos had to return to the negotiating table, and a revised peace plan was quickly brokered and signed – without a referendum.

Many Colombians say they want peace, but insist the deal is too soft on the FARC and criticise that the revised deal is barely different from the first one.

Without broad support for the plan, and with many critics questioning the peace process envisioned by Santos, the Nobel peace laureate now faces what is perhaps his greatest challenge: implementing peace in Colombia.

“I have a vision for my country that I am trying to make reality … I want a Colombia with three pillars: Colombian peace, Colombia with more equity, and better educated … You have to consolidate peace through education … I understand people who have suffered so much and are still angry, but slowly you have to learn how to forgive and how to reconcile,” Santos says.

Will he be able to bring peace to Colombia? How can he prevent a divided Colombia? And how do Colombians feel about the Nobel Peace Prize?

Al Jazeera’s James Bays and Folly Bah Thibault talk to Colombian president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Juan Manuel Santos, about the issues behind the peace deal, his vision for the country and the challenges ahead.