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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Bob Marley's widow says she plans to exhume the reggae star's remains in Jamaica and rebury them in Ethiopia -- his "spiritual resting place."
Rita Marley says both the Ethiopian church and government officials support the project. Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981.
The reburial coincides with next month's celebrations of what would have been Marley's 60th birthday.
Rita Marley says her husband will be reburied in the community of Shashemene, where several hundred Rastafarians have lived since they were given land by Ethiopia's last emperor, Haile Selassie
Hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans embraced Haile as their living god and head of the Rastafarian religious movement.
Bob Marley was a devout Rastafarian. The faith's followers preach a oneness with nature, grow their hair into dreadlocks and smoke marijuana as a sacrament.
"Bob's whole life is about Africa. It is not about Jamaica," said Rita Marley, a Cuban-born singer who married the reggae star in 1966.
"How can you give up a continent for an island? He has a right for his remains to be where he would love them to be. This was his mission.
"Ethiopia is his spiritual resting place. With the 60th anniversary this year, the impact is there and the time is right."
Together with the African Union and the U.N. children's agency, Rita Marley has organized celebrations in Ethiopia, including a concert on Bob Marley's birthday, Feb. 6, to be held in Addis Ababa.
The monthlong celebration, dubbed "Africa Unite" after one of Bob Marley's songs, aims to raise funds to help poor families in Ethiopia.