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Mandela Statement Belated

I ATTENDED Nelson Mandela’s honorary doctorate acceptance speech five years ago at Galway University.


He spoke of not shirking from our responsibility to criticise our friends when they are making mistakes or involved in wrongdoing.

In keeping with this principle, he condemned the war in Iraq, despite the assistance George Bush had given African leaders in setting up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Mandela expanded vociferously on these sentiments in the international media while maintaining complete silence about the disintegration of democracy and human rights under Mugabe’s regime. His brief reference in London last week to the violence in Zimbabwe and its “tragic failure of leadership” was shamefully restrained and belated.

Liam Quaide,


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