Obama Calls Goree Island Visit, “Powerful”

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DAKAR, SENEGAL – Obama’s visit to South Africa on Saturday will include a stop at Robben Island, where Mandela spent a majority of his 27 years in prison. The White House schedule does not include a visit with the anti-apartheid icon.

After making his remarks Thursday, Obama visited Goree Island, which once served as a strategic post in the transatlantic slave trade.

He called the trip a “powerful” reminder that “we have to remain vigilant when it comes to the defense of human rights. …This is a testament to when we’re not vigilant in defense of human rights, what can happen.”

“Obviously, for an African-American, an African-American president, to be able to visit this site, I think, gives me even greater motivation in terms of human rights around the world,” Obama said.

CNN’s Faith Karimi contributed to this report.

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