Today 08 December
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — He was with Nelson Mandela during all those years the anti-apartheid icon was imprisoned on Robben Island. And, like millions around the world, he has been hit hard by Mandela's death.
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - French troops deployed in the strife-torn Central African Republic on Saturday, while the African Union said it would nearly double its force to try to stamp out deadly sectarian violence. Cheering residents honked horns, danced and banged on saucepans as some 200 French troops rolled into the mainly Christian town of Bouar in the west of the country. The communal violence, which has terrorised rural towns for months, flared in the capital Bangui on Thursday, leaving at least 300 dead in a wave of attacks, the Red Cross said. Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia declared a three-day period of mourning from Sunday for the victims.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africans flocked to houses of worship for a national day of prayer and reflection to honor former President Nelson Mandela, starting planned events that will culminate in what is expected to be one of the biggest funerals in modern times.
South Africans crowded into churches, mosques, temples and synagogues on Sunday to remember Nelson Mandela, encouraged by their president to celebrate a life that transcended race and religion. The nationwide day of prayer marked the formal start of a week-long state funeral for the man who forged a new multi-racial South Africa from the discredited remnants of the apartheid era he helped to dismantle. In the Regina Mundi Catholic church in the once blacks-only township of Soweto, parish priest Sebastian Rossouw called Mandela "a light in the darkness" and praised his capacity for "humility and forgiveness". "He fought for us then, now he needs to rest," said Olga Mbeke, 60, who was born in Soweto.
The passing of Nelson Mandela leaves a waning number of global figures representing freedom and resilience against oppression — and a changing world that makes it harder for anyone to approach Mandela's iconic power.