Death of Desmond Tutu: rain of tribute to the « giant who stood up against apartheid »

Tributes poured in after the announcement of the death of Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1984 and figure in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, on Sunday, December 26. “My father is now at peace. Thank you Tshezi for everything you have been for our family and the world ”, wrote Naomi Tutu, the daughter of Desmond Tutu, on Twitter.

the « combat » de Desmond Tutu « For the end of apartheid and South African reconciliation will remain in our memories », meanwhile greeted the French President, Emmanuel Macron on Sunday. Mgr Tutu « Devoted his life to human rights and the equality of peoples », recalls the head of state in a tweet, adding his voice to the international concert of tributes paid to the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed « His deep sadness following the death » why « Unequaled patriot ». His death « Is a new chapter of mourning in our nation’s farewell to a generation of exceptional South Africans who left us a liberated South Africa ». « A man of extraordinary intelligence, integrity and invincible against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered (…) under apartheid, and for the oppressed and oppressors around the world ”, recalled Mr. Ramaphosa.

The Mandela Foundation called his loss« incommensurable » : “He was an amazing human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd. « 

« A giant has fallen »

Desmond Tutu at a gathering of young leaders in February 2010 in London.

Desmond Tutu « Was a friend, a mentor and a moral beacon for me and for so many others », reacted former US President Barack Obama. « Universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu found his roots in the struggle for freedom and justice in his own country, but was also concerned about injustice wherever it may be », wrote this other Nobel Peace Prize winner on Twitter.

Pope Francis declared himself « Saddened » by this loss. « Aware of the service rendered to the Gospel by the promotion of racial equality and reconciliation » in his country, the sovereign pontiff « Commends his soul to the loving mercy of Almighty God ».

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said to himself « Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu ». “He was an essential figure in the struggle against apartheid and in the struggle for the creation of a new South Africa. We will remember him for his spiritual leadership and his irrepressible good humor ”, he added.

The President of the European Council, who represents the 27 EU countries, Charles Michel, paid tribute to “A man who gave his life to freedom with a deep commitment to human dignity. A giant who stood up against apartheid ”.

The President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, for his part, considered that “The death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a blow not only for the Republic of South Africa, where he leaves behind an immense imprint as a hero of the struggle against apartheid, but also for the whole continent African, where he is deeply respected and celebrated as a peacemaker. « Archbishop Tutu inspired a generation of African leaders to embrace his non-violent approaches in the liberation struggle », he said.

For Bobi Wine, leader of the Ugandan opposition, « The news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu is very sad ». “A giant has fallen. We thank God for his life a full life, truly lived in the service of humanity ”, he wrote on Twitter.

« The ‘wise men’ have lost a dear friend »

Anglican spiritual leader and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “In Desmond Tutu’s eyes, we saw the love of Jesus. In his voice we heard the compassion of Jesus. In his laughter, we heard the joy of Jesus. It was beautiful and courageous. His greatest love is now realized as he meets his Lord face to face. « 

The Dalai Lama greeted a « Great man, who lived a life full of meaning », « Entirely devoted to the service of his brothers and sisters ». « The friendship and the spiritual bond between us was something that we cherished », he said of his old friend.

The “group of wise men”, created in 2007 by Nelson Mandela and which brings together public figures working on major world problems, paid tribute to the Archbishop, a « inspiration » for the world of which « The commitment to peace, love and equality » continue to « To inspire future generations ».

« The ‘wise men’ have lost a dear friend, whose contagious laughter and mischievous sense of humor have delighted and charmed them all », reacted in a statement the group which counts in its ranks Ban Ki-moon or Jimmy Carter, and of which Desmond Tutu was the first president.

The World with AFP

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