A woman holds a sign at a gathering in memory of Nelson Mandela outside the South African High Commission across from Trafalgar Square in London. Picture: Suzanne Plunkett

Nairobi - East African leaders mourned the loss of South African liberation leader Nelson Mandela on Friday, with Tanzania declaring three days of mourning.

“The world has lost one of its greatest citizens,” Tanzanian President Kikwete said, calling Mandela “a voice of courage, a source of inspiration and a beloved leader to us all”.

In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Mandela “embodied the power of hope and believed in the power of forgiveness”.

The 95-year-old died late on Thursday.

“He bequeathed us the understanding that we can and should unconditionally forgive those who wrong us,” Kenyatta added.

In Rwanda, President Paul Kagame said that “he will continue to live in the hearts of many of us”. - Sapa-AFP