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UB's Claude Welch on Mandela's life and his legacy

Photo from www.nelsonmandelaonline.net

Nelson Mandela will continue to inspire emerging democracies. That is the consensus of many around the world in the wake of Mandela's death Thursday at the age of 95. WBFO News reached University at Buffalo Professor Claude Welch at his home for his thoughts on Mandela and his legacy. 

Welch called Mandela a "nation creator." Welch said Mandela's message was that you can fight for freedom by peaceful protest.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered that all flags on state government buildings will be flown at half-staff Friday in Mandela's memory.  Cuomo said Mandela "refused to accept injustice and fought relentlessly for what was right.

From the Associated Press:  President Barack Obama says the world has lost an influential, courageous and `profoundly good' man with the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.  Obama says Mandela "no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.''

Speaking from the White House, Obama said he was one of the countless millions around the world who was influenced by Mandela.  

Obama met with Mandela's family earlier this year when he visited South Africa. But he did not meet with the ailing leader, who was hospitalized throughout the U.S. president's visit.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Nelson Mandela was "a giant for justice'' whose "selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom'' inspired many people around the world.  

"No one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations,'' he told reporters soon after Mandela's death was announced Thursday.  

"Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world, and within each one of us, if we believe a dream and work together for justice and humanity,'' Ban said. "Let us continue each day to be inspired by Nelson Mandela's lifelong example to keep working for a better and more just world.''  

The U.N. Security Council interrupted a meeting on the tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and stood for a minute in silent tribute to Mandela.