PARIS, Dec. 6 -- French President Francois Hollande on Friday mourned the passing of Nelson Mandela and paid tribute to the anti-apartheid hero who will continue inspiring fights for freedom and peace.
"The world is in mourning, Nelson Mandela left us. He has already made history in his lifetime," Hollande said at the opening ceremony of a summit on peace and security in Africa held in Paris.
"Nelson Mandela is no longer there. But his message will continue to live, to inspire new generations... Yes, he will always be a reference for those who have never finished their fight against racism, against the discrimination, against all forms of intolerance and injustice," French head of state told participants at the two-day meeting on security and peace in Africa.
"France expresses its solidarity with all Africans," and will preserve Mandela's "message of hope for all people of the world."
Mandela died of illness on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg at the age of 95. He will be buried in his ancestral home of Qunu in the country's Eastern Cape, South African President Jacob Zuma announced.
Hollande will attend Mandela's state funeral scheduled for December 15.