The Shengo mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela (Madiba) a great African leader with a special connection to Ethiopia.
Nelson Mandela symbolized the true sprit of a society involved in a struggle for freedom from racial and ethnic dominance, inequality and subjugation of one group by another. He demonstrated determination and tenacity even at the most trying time of his life while in prison.
Mandela has a unique connection to our country Ethiopia. It was in Ethiopia that Mandela received his training to fight against the most heinous racist apartheid regime. It was an Ethiopian passport Mandela used to allow him to travel during his exile.
Mandela himself has expressed his attachment to Ethiopia in his biography by saying: “Ethiopia always has a special place in my imagination and the prospect of visiting Ethiopia attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England, and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African.
After 27 years of imprisonment, Mandela transformed his country from polarized society to one where all South Africans regardless of colour, race, and ethnicity live in harmony with freedom and equality. He led a peaceful transition, embarking on truth and reconciliation making admission of wrong doing and forgiveness the corner stone for building the new South Africa.
As we reflect on the legacies of this iconic leader and his affection to Ethiopia, we also see the deprivation; subjugation and humiliation Ethiopians are subjected to at this very moment. We also strive for and contemplate on a promise of a democratic Ethiopia with equal opportunity for all its citizens and an Ethiopia that lives at peace with itself and its neighbors.
In this regard, we draw a great lesson from the inspiring works of this great leader to realize our vision for Ethiopia and Ethiopians.
We express our deepest condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela and the people of