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#MandelaDay: The memory of Nelson Mandela is in the commitment to peace and in the peaceful coexistence in Africa

July 18 2021

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July 18, the date of his birth, marks Nelson Mandela International Day, established by the United Nations to promote human rights and the fight against racial discrimination, following the great example, left by "Madiba".

Mandela was a father for Africa, for his role in the liberation of South Africa from apartheid and, in general, for the fight against racial segregation. 26 years in prison and a non-violent struggle. His has been an example of humanity for the whole world: he has always indicated for the unity of countries a road made of justice, freedom, forgiveness, equality, reconciliation and peace.

Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, Nelson Mandela was the first black president of South Africa. He died at the age of 95 in 2013, in Johannesburg.

The Community of Sant'Egidio also remembers him in particular for working alongside him for the peace process in Burundi in 2003. Mandela spoke English in front of a country divided between Hutu and Tutsi and francophone, but his words were those of the "Father" and every Burundian perceived them as addressed to himself, true because he lived them before being pronounced. Sometimes the children, when "daddy" would go away, would start arguing again, because the divisions were deep. But without Mandela even peace in Burundi would have been impossible. From that meeting, an additional responsibility was born, that of continuing the dream of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation of which Nelson Mandela became the interpreter.