The statue of Cecil Rhodes is seen on the facade of Oriel College in Oxford, southern England, December 30, 2015. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
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The toxic legacy of colonialism in Africa has stirred up a heated debate in Britain involving a prestigious Oxford University college, some high-powered alumni and a student campaign boosted by social media.Smudged by passing traffic on a busy thoroughfare and soiled by pigeons, the Rhodes statue is still in a stunning location surrounded by Oxford's dreaming spires in the heart of the university's college community.Inspired by the popular movement that forced the removal of a statue of the famous colonialist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, campaigners have been asking the British college to do the same.The campaigns are distinct but supporters in Oxford use the same hashtag #RhodesMustFall as the Cape Town campaign and their actions have fuelled a political debate in South Africa as well as soul-searching in Britain ranging well beyond the statue itself. The university rejects accusations of racism but Oriel College promised to be "more diverse and inclusive of people from all backgrounds" in a response to the campaign earlier this month.
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