JOANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA-President Barack Obama says Nelson Mandela 'no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages.'

The world is reacting with sadness following the death of the former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Mandela died Thursday at age 95 after a lengthy illness. His family was at his side.

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said the world has lost 'a visionary leader, a courageous voice for justice.'

Mandela had been in intensive medical care at his Johannesburg home since being discharged on Sept. 1 after nearly three months in a hospital for a recurring lung infection.

Mandela is viewed around the world as a powerful figure of reconciliation. Despite being jailed for his prominent role in opposing white racist rule, Mandela was seemingly free of rancor on his release in 1990 after 27 years in prison.

He became a unifying leader who led South Africa through a delicate transition to all-race elections that propelled him to the presidency in 1994.

Mandela served a single five-year term as president of South Africa and afterward he focused on charitable causes, including the fight against HIV/AIDS. He withdrew from public life years ago. Mandela's last public appearance was in 2010 at the World Cup soccer tournament, which was hosted by South Africa. At that time, bundled against the cold, he waved but did not speak to the stadium full of fans.


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