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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 14, 1999


On behalf of the American people, Hillary and I extend our deepest sympathies to the family of former President Julius Nyerere, to President Mkapa and the people of Tanzania. President Nyerere's death is a great loss for Tanzania, for Africa, and for the international community as a whole.

President Nyerere was a pioneering leader for freedom and self-government in Africa. Many African leaders sought his guidance as they crafted their own new societies.

President Nyerere dedicated his life to a vision rooted in the belief that all people have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. He practiced this ethic personally, aiding not only courageous African leaders but also ordinary victims of regional conflict; he opened Tanzania's borders to refugees from wars in Mozambique, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, and Uganda.

President Nyerere's legacy of determination and compassion lives on in the generous people of Tanzania today. We join our friends in Tanzania and Africa in celebrating his achievements and mourning his death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his fellow citizens.