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Ethiopia’s Mandela heritage site offer to South Africa

KIMBERLEY – Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed has called on the SA government to join forces with his administration in developing the building which housed struggle icon Nelson Mandela while undergoing military training in that country into a heritage site.

Ahmed was delivering a message of support at the ANC’s 108th birthday rally in Kimberley, Northern Cape, on Saturday where thousands of the party’s faithful packed the Tafel Lager Park Stadium to listen to President Cyril Ramaphosa deliver the January 8 statement.

Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace prize last year for forging a peace deal with Ethiopia’s neighbouring Eritrea after almost 20 years of military stalemate which followed the two country border war between 1998 and 2000, said he and many Ethiopians revered Mandela.

Mandela had briefly undergone military training in Ethiopia in 1962 where he entered under the cover name of David Motsamai in his passport.

“In his autography, Madiba speaks fondly about Ethiopia as a country that inspired him to continue with the struggle against apartheid,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed said Ethiopians continued to be inspired by his legacy, especially his thoughts and vision of dedicated service to humanity.

“His immense contribution and exemplary leadership taught us the promotion of the culture of peace, tolerance and inclusiveness and forgiveness. This is a vision close to our hearts. We always remember Madiba for his enduring values of peace and reconciliation,” he said.

“The building in which Madiba was housed while undergoing his military training in Ethiopia is still standing but far from the manner that represents the great history it witnessed.  Let me cease this opportunity, comrade president, to call upon our two countries’ cooperation into developing this historic place it’s a site,”

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