The secretary general, who is on a visit to France, will leave Paris for South Africa Sunday to attend Mandela's memorial service slated for Tuesday, the spokesman added.

Mandela passed away Thursday at the age of 95, reports Xinhua.The UN mourned the loss and celebrated the enduring legacy of Mandela, the peace advocate who led the fight to end apartheid.US President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle Obama and former US presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will also travel to South Africa for the memorial service.

South African President Jacob Zuma announced that the government will hold a state funeral for Mandela Dec 15.The 193-member UN General Assembly and the 15-nation UN Security Council observed a moment of silence to honour the memory of Mandela who emerged from 27 years of imprisonment to become South Africa's first black president.

(Agencies)

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