Sirleaf deserves Nobel Peace Prize ‘many times over’: Tutu
South Africa's Desmond Tutu on Friday praised Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's joint award of the Nobel Peace Prize, which he won in 1984, saying she deserved it "many times over" for bringing stability to Liberia.
“The president of Liberia? Woooooooo hoooooo,” was Tutu’s reaction at the news after leaving a public church service to celebrate his 80th birthday.
“She deserves it many times over. She’s brought stability to a place that was going to hell.”
Frontman of rock band U2 and global campaigner Bono also welcomed the news.
“She is the most extraordinary woman and I feel so lucky to have worked with her over the years, cancelling Liberia’s debt,” he told reporters outside St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.
“She’s just an extraordinary woman, a force of nature and now she has the world recognise her in this great great great way. Wonderful.”
Sirleaf, 72, made history when she became Africa’s first elected woman president in 2005. She took over a nation traumatised by 14 years of brutal civil war that left 250,000 dead and economic devastation, with no electricity, running water or infrastructure.
Liberia’s “Iron Lady” won her Nobel just four days before she is set to face elections in her bid for a new term.
She shares the prize with Liberian “peace warrior” Leymah Gbowee and Yemen’s Arab Spring activist Tawakkul Karman.