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South Africa's Anglican archbishop, Desmond Tutu, resigned Thursday as a member of Harvard University's governing board of overseers, saying the violence sweeping his country will keep him and other black leaders at home.

Tutu, 60, who was named to the board in 1989, told Harvard President Neil Rudenstein in a letter that his decision was effective immediately. His term was due to run through 1995."The situation in my home country is volatile in the extreme and very fluid, requiring that many of us should be more available to help in the delicate but exhilarating business of being midwives for the birth of the much-awaited new South Africa," Tutu wrote.