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Mandela heads north for 46664 Arctic concert
South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle hero Nelson Mandela will be joined by pop superstars Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox at charity concert.

South Africa's first black president and hero of the anti-apartheid struggle Nelson Mandela will be joined by pop superstars Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox on Saturday at an AIDS charity concert in Norway's far north.

The concert in the northern city of Tromsoe dubbed "46664 Arctic" is to highlight Mandela's message that "Aids is a global issue," his foundation said ahead of the event.

The first 46664 concert, named after Mandela's prison number, was held in Cape Town in November 2003 and was followed by a second musical charity event in the Eastern Cape town of Fancourt.

"The situation with HIV/Aids in Africa has become a genocide of unprecedented proportions," said pop singer Lennox. "Generations are simply being wiped out."

Apart from Lennox and Gabriel, the line-up also includes Queen's Brian May, former Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant, Razorlight, Zucchero, Sharon Corr and several African and Scandinavian artists.

Mandela (86) is to address concert goers with a message specifically aimed at the G8 summit which will be held three weeks later in Scotland.

He will tell them that "far more needs to be done to fight HIV/Aids in sub-Saharan Africa", said the foundation.

Mandela, who lost a son to HIV/Aids in January, has repeatedly called for more action to fight the pandemic affecting 25-million Africans, nearly two-thirds of the world's Aids sufferers.

In Africa alone, 1 400 babies are born HIV-positive every day, the foundation said.

Norway has made a grant of 12-million kroner ($1,8-million, R12,1-million) towards the cost of organising the concert. - Sapa-AFP