World leaders pay tribute to Desmond Tutu, anti-apartheid champion of South Africa
A stellar icon fighting for justice and equality, and known for spearheading the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, Desmond Tutu passed away on Sunday. He was hailed as the country's 'moral compass'.
Tutu, who had largely faded from public life in recent years, was remembered for his easy humour and characteristic smile -- and above all his tireless fight against injustices of all colours.
World leaders paid tribute to Tutu, whose passing is being described as the fall of a giant
Former US President Barack Obama, in his statement, described Tutu as "a mentor, a friend, and a moral compass for me and so many others."
"A universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned with injustice everywhere," Obama said, adding that Tutu sought to "find humanity in his adversaries."
"Michelle and I will miss him dearly," he said.
Tutu was presented Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama in 2009
Indian PM Narendra Modi hailed Tutu as 'a guiding light for countless people globally'
"Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was a guiding light for countless people globally. His emphasis on human dignity and equality will be forever remembered. I am deeply saddened by his demise, and extend my heartfelt condolences to all his admirers. May his soul rest in peace, he tweeted.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tweeted his tribute to Tutu
"The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa," he tweeted.
Nelson Mandela Foundation called Tutu 'an extraordinary human being'
"His contributions to struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his thinking about the making of liberator futures for human societies. He was an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd."
Dalai Lama released a statement offering condolences on the passing of Desmond Tutu
Calling Desmond Tutu a 'critical figure in the fight against apartheid' UK PM Boris Johnson expressed sadness at his passing
"I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa - and will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humour," he tweeted.