Obama praises Mandela on Africa trip

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

President Barack Obama praised the legacy of the ailing Nelson Mandela Friday but could not say whether he would try to visit the iconic figure during a pre-planned visit to South Africa.

“Right now, our main concern is with his well-being, his comfort, and with the family’s well-being and comfort,” Obama said aboard Air Force One as he flew from Senegal to South Africa, part of a week-long trip to Africa planned before the former South African leader was hospitalized in critical condition.

Obama did not give any updates on Mandela’s failing health or whether he planned to personally visit the former president of South Africa. He said he wanted to pass along a message of gratitude either to Mandela himself or to his family, but that he did not want to be obtrusive.

“If we focus on what Africa as a continent can do together and what these countries can do when they’re unified, as opposed to when they’re divided by tribe or race or religion, then Africa’s rise will continue,” Obama said. “And that’s one of the central lessons of what Nelson Mandela accomplished not just as president, but in the struggle to overcome Apartheid and his years in prison.”

Kumar reported from South Africa; Kirby from Washington

Email: kirby@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @kateirby

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category