World leaders praised former South African President Nelson Mandela as a man of justice, peace, humility, and humanity. Mandela died on Thursday at age 95.
Here are some of their remarks:
South African President Jacob Zuma:
"Our people have lost a father. Although we knew this day was going to come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.
"His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, passion and humanity earned him their love. Our nation has lost its greatest son."
African National Congress:
"South Africa and the world have lost a colossus and epitome of humility, equality, justice, and peace. His life gives us the courage to push forward for development and progress towards ending hunger and poverty."
Former South African President F.W. de Klerk:
"South Africa has lost one of its founding fathers and one of its greatest sons. Nelson Mandela's courage, charm, and commitment to reconciliation and to the Constitution were an inspiration not only for South Africans but for the whole world.
"His example will live on and continue to inspire all South Africans to achieve his vision of non-racialism, justice, human dignity, and equality for all.
"'Tata,' we shall miss you — but know that your spirit and example will always be there to guide us to the vision of a better and more just South Africa."
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan:
"Nelson Mandela served as a source of inspiration to the oppressed peoples all over the world. In the course of his lifelong epic struggle for freedom, fairness, justice, equity, and the human rights of his oppressed people, Mandela made unparalleled personal sacrifices.
"The indefatigable spirit that he demonstrated throughout his life will continue to inspire present and future generations."
British Prime Minister David Cameron:
"A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time."
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair:
"He was a unique political figure at a unique moment in history. Through his leadership, he guided the world into a new era of politics in which black and white, developing and developed, north and south, despite all the huge differences in wealth and opportunity, stood for the first time together on equal terms.
"Through his dignity, grace and the quality of his forgiveness, he made racism everywhere not just immoral but stupid; something not only to be disagreed with, but to be despised. In its place he put the inalienable right of all humankind to be free and to be equal."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
"Nelson Mandela was one of the most honorable figures of our time. He was the father of his people, a man of vision, a freedom fighter who rejected violence. He set a personal example for his people in the long years he spent in prison."
French President Francois Hollande:
"Nelson Mandela has made history. The history of South Africa. The history of the entire world.
"During all these years, Nelson Mandela was the embodiment of the South African nation, the cement of its unity, and the pride of the whole of Africa.
"Nelson Mandela’s message won’t disappear; it will continue to inspire freedom fighters and to give confidence to people in the defense of just causes and universal rights.
"He has shown that human will can not only break the chains of servitude, but also free the force needed to succeed in building a shared destiny."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:
"Many around the world were greatly influenced by Nelson Mandela's selfless struggle for human dignity, equality, and freedom. He touched our lives in deeply personal ways.
"No one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations.
"Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one of us — if we believe, dream, and work together for justice and humanity."
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff:
"Nelson Mandela conducted with passion and intelligence one of the most important processes of emancipation in contemporary human history: the end of apartheid in South Africa."
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny:
"The name 'Mandela' stirred our conscience and our hearts. It became synonymous with the pursuit of dignity and freedom across the globe. The boy from the Transkei has finished his long walk. His journey transformed not just South Africa, but humanity itself."
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key:
"Nelson Mandela was an inspirational leader and a remarkable man. For years, he symbolized South Africa's hope for a future free from apartheid. Mandela was a force for change, not only in South Africa but around the world."
Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe:
"The world has lost a great leader and an inspiration to humanity today. Haiti will never forget this great leader."
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott:
"Nelson Mandela will forever be remembered as more than a political leader. He was a moral leader. He spent much of his life standing against the injustice of apartheid. When that fight was won, he inspired us again by his capacity to forgive and reconcile his country.
"While the world may never see another Nelson Mandela, he has inspired countless men and women throughout the world to live more courageous and honest lives."
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser:
"Nelson Mandela had a sense of justice I’ve not seen equaled in another person."
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