South Africa's iconic leader Nelson Mandela passed away on Thursday. Mandela was 95 and had spent months in the hospital earlier this year for a recurring lung infection.
Leaders around the world expressed their condolences in the wake of the announcement, reminding the world of the strength and the compassion that characterized South Africa's remarkable leader.
South African President Jacob Zuma announced the death of Mandela. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father," Zuma said, according to CNN. "He is now resting, he is now at peace," Zuma added.
Speaking from the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama said "Mandela has achieved more than could be expected of any man, he lives for the ages." Obama added:
British Prime Minister David Cameron was one of the first to express his grief on Twitter, calling Mandela "a hero of our time."
We've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with. He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages... His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also took to twitter:
A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I've asked for the flag at No10 to be flown at half mast.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) December 5, 2013
All of Canada mourns with the family of Nelson Mandela and the citizens of South Africa. The world has lost one of its great moral leaders.
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) December 5, 2013
Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo described Mandela as "a man who brought hope, a true hero who will keep inspiring us."
Vandaag nemen we afscheid van een man die hoop bracht, een ware held die ons zal blijven inspireren #NelsonMandela
— Elio Di Rupo (@eliodirupo) December 5, 2013
Take a look at the slideshow below for more reactions from around the world.