Somalia should learn from Nelson Mandela, a national unity and reconciliation, Foreign Minister

Mareeg.com-Fawzia Yusuf H. Adam, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister,
today paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, hailing his example of
reconciliation, national unity and peace-building as a critical lesson for Somalia.

“Today in Paris, accompanied by so many African leaders, we are all in
mourning for the loss of Africa’s greatest son. We celebrate him as a freedom
fighter and tireless campaigner for justice, a shining example of what the human
spirit can achieve against all odds.”

“For me as a Somali he is also the greatest symbol of national unity, a lesson
in what a country can achieve when it sets aside its divisions and works together
for a greater good. What society in Africa was ever more divided than apartheid
South Africa? And yet look at it now, the rainbow nation, a country at ease with
itself and its neighbours, an economic powerhouse admired across the world. How
appropriate that we are here to discuss peace and security in Africa, perhaps the
greatest legacy Mandela gave to South Africa and the world.”

The Foreign Minister said Somalis needed to take a hard look at themselves and
reflect on what Mandela had achieved for his country.

“Surely if we learn one thing from Mandela it is this: that conflict and
political fighting lead us nowhere and national unity is the only way forward. We
have put the world’s longest running civil war behind us, which is already a
major achievement. We must now come together as a nation and make sure we build a
Somalia that is completely free from conflict for our children and grandchildren.”

“I am confident that this summit will enhance relations between France and
Africa and strengthen bilateral relations with Somalia and thereby boost security
and economic prosperity in our country.”

The Foreign Minister was speaking after meeting President François Hollande,
who is hosting the two-day Élysée Summit for Peace and Security in
Africa. The gathering brings together heads of state and leaders of 53 countries,
together with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, African Union Commission Chairperson
Nkosazana Dlaimini Zuma, President of the European Commission José Manuel
Barroso, President Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and senior
representatives from the World Bank, IMF and African Development Bank.

**ENDS**

For further information please contact:

Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow)

Senior Advisor & Spokesperson to the President of Somalia

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