While the rate of fatalities in Africa is still much below that of developed countries, every life lost is a library gone, according to the saying. Here are three noted Africans who passed this year just as thousands of lives were tragically lost to a virus worldwide.

Dr. Mansour Khalid, a prolific author in both Arabic and English, exposed all the ailments of Sudanese elites that led to the secession of South Sudan in July 2011. These ills are vividly elucidated in two books –The Government They Deserve: The Role of the Elite in Sudan’s Political Evolution in 1990, and The Paradox of Two Sudans: The CPA and the Road to Partition in 2015.

He passed away on April 23.

He served as a legal advisor at the United Nations and first vice-chairman of the World Commission on Environment and Development. In 1972, he joined the Nimeiri Government, serving in a number of key ministerial posts, prominently as a foreign minister. Sensing the tyrannical orientation of Nimeiri Government, Mansour resigned and went abroad, becoming one of the strongest opponents of Nimeiri regime.

With his passing, writes Dr Omer M Shurkian, representative of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, Sudan lost one of its consummate ideologues, an eminent politician, diplomat and humanist. In his second homeland – that is, South Sudan – all national flags were flown at half-mast in his honor for three days.