USIP Recalls the South African’s Peaceful Triumph over Apartheid

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For Immediate Release, December 5, 2013

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The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) mourns the passing on December 5, 2013 of former South African President Nelson Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate whose historic peacemaking efforts resulted in the end of the country’s apartheid system and in political freedom for millions of South Africans. Mandela led the African National Congress in a decades-long struggle against apartheid, spending 27 years in prison. He served as the first black president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, guiding the transition from minority rule. After his presidency, Mandela became an important global advocate for social and human rights causes.

USIP President Jim Marshall said of Mandela: “He was a giant of 20th century peacemaking for his successful, courageous and non-violent leadership on behalf of justice and freedom. His commitment to reconciliation with South Africa’s white minority paved the way for a remarkable and inspiring shift to genuine democracy that embraces and represents all South Africans. USIP mourns his passing but remembers his tremendous contribution to peacemaking, freedom and non-violent change as an inspiration to people around the world.”


The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict through nonviolent means. USIP works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance national security. USIP is headquartered in Washington, DC. To learn more, visit

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