News and Information

Masire rewarded for promoting peace
December 7, 2004
GABORONE - Former president Sir Ketumile Masire has been bestowed with the Mahatma Gandi 2004 International Award for his efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in the Africa.

Masire was presented with the award last week in Durban, South Africa, during the annual Gandhi memorial lecture. His wife accompanied him.

The award was presented to him by the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, which is headed by Ela Gandhi, the only surviving granddaughter of Gandhi in South Africa.

The ceremony was attended by more than 300 invited guests, including representatives of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and Indian consul general in South Africa Ajay Swarup.

In his acceptance speech, Sir Ketumile said the " Great Mahatma Gandhi believed in a world of peace and harmony".

Masire said unfortunately, for many people in Africa, the road to peace and harmony remained a long and tortuous one.

"It continues to be a mirage. There is no guarantee it will be realised in our lifetime. Violent acts and terrorism for political purposes still haunt us," he said.

Masire said tyrants, dictators, guerrillas, revolutionaries as well as commanders of regular troops carried out acts of terrorism against their opponents and suppressed minorities.

After his retirement from the presidency 1998, Masire has been involved in a number of humanitarian and development issues on the Africa continent.

In 1999, he was appointed chairman of International Panel to investigate circumstances surrounding the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

In 2001, in terms of the Lusaka Agreement, Masire facilitated a political negotiations process for the realisation of a new political dispensation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Last year, the parties to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue signed the final accord, thus committing themselves to be bound by the decision of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue.

Masire continues to be deeply committed to the peaceful resolution of conflicts. BOPA


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