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UN chief urges leaders to emulate Nelson Mandela

By Gladys Fred Kole

South Sudanese leaders are advised to get inspiration from the legacy left behind by former South African President, Nelson Mandela.

Special representative of the UN Secretary-General to South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom offered the advice during aired on radio Miraya, to mark Mandela Day.

Mr. Haysom said on Tuesday that the former South African President prioritized unity as an approach to unifying and promoting reconciliation.

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on July 18, Mandela’s birthday.

The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009.

UNMISS chief, Mr. Haysom, said one of the aspects is being a leader for all people, citing that Mandela also appreciated that as a leader he was president for everyone and not simply of the ruling party.

“Mandela’s approach was to unify and promote reconciliation; it points to the importance of leadership and being a role model for the people in the country,” Haysom noted.

He further reiterated that the obvious point was Mandela’s insistence that all citizens should be treated equally and fairly and that we all have an obligation to engage with the question of equality.

Meanwhile, the theme of Nelson Mandela International Day 2023 is “The Legacy Lives on Through You: Climate, Food, and Solidarity.”

Nicholas Haysom, a member of the African National Congress (ANC) party in South Africa, said he was previously appointed by Mandela as his chief legal and constitutional advisor in his office during his time in office.

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, presided over the unveiling of two statues commemorating the legacy of former President Nelson Mandela in Mthatha and Qunu, Eastern Cape, during this year’s celebration.

The two monuments serve as a tribute to Nelson Mandela’s enduring impact on South Africa and the world and commemorate the 67 years he dedicated to the fight against apartheid and racism.


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