President Nelson Mandela’s Legacy a message to African Heads of State

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Posted on December 6, 2013

As the world mourns and readies for the funeral of Nelson Mandela, the greatest tribute you can pay the former South African President would be to respect the presidential term you were originally elected to serve under the constitution of the country you are still leading. This message is particularly addressed to:
Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guine, President since August 3, 1979
Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola, President since September 1979
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, President since February 1980
Paul Biya of Cameroon, President since November 1982
Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President since January 1986
Blaise Campore of Burkina Fasso , President since October 1987
Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, President since June 1989,
Idris Deby Itno of Chad, President since December 1990
Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo, President since October 1997
Abdelaziz Boutefrika of Algeria, President since April 1999

After 27 years of imprisonment by the apartheid South African regime, Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s President for one term from 10 May 1994 – 14 June 1999. Given his stature and achievements, there is no doubt that if Nelson Mandela had wanted to govern South Africa for the rest of his life, he could have done it. Instead, he relinquished power after one term. You should immediately honor his example.

We demand respect for the constructional rule of law, and call for frequent, regular, fairly and openly contested elections, for popular sovereignty and for the peaceful transfer of power. The people of Angola, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Uganda, Burkina Fasso, Gongo, Sudan are entitled to no less.

The courage of President Nelson Mandela is an inspiration to all of us. His example as a steward of his people, his respect for democracy, and his place as one of the greatest individuals of our time are a loud rebuke to your own record of self-aggrandizement and disregard for the welfare of your countrymen.

The passing of Nelson Mandela is an appropriate time to once again call on the US government to renounce the policy of supporting “friendly dictatorships” run by tyrants. The United States should demand self-determination now for all Africans, just as the example of Nelson Mandela already demands it.

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