Kofi Anan dies; Africa, the world mourn

THE news of the demise of former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, was broken by his family on Saturday, throwing the whole of Africa and the world in a state of mourning.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” read a statement issued by the Anan family.

Anan was one of Africa’s finest diplomats. He led the UN from January 1997 to December 2006, during which himself and the UN were awarded co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, and also Chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by another African legend, Nelson Mandela.

He joined the UN in 1962 and worked in several departments of the world body before he was appointed overall head. He handed over to Ban Ki-Moon of South Korea on January 1, 2007.

His family said he passed away gently in his sleep, in Berne, Switzerland.

The current UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, described Anan as “a guiding force for good”. “I join the world in mourning his loss. In these turbulent and trying times, his legacy as a global champion for peace will remain a true inspiration for us all,” Guterres stated.

President Nana Akufo-Addo off Ghana paid tribute to Anan thus: “Consummate international diplomat and highly respected former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan was the first from sub-Saharan Africa to occupy this exalted position (of the UN Secretary-General).

    “He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena. He was an ardent believer in the capacity of the Ghanaian to chart his or her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity.

    “I extend, on behalf of the entire Ghanaian nation, our sincere, heartfelt condolences to his beloved widow, Nane Maria, and to his devoted children, Ama, Kojo and Nina, on this great loss.”

    Akufo-Addo also directed that “in his honour, Ghana’s national flag will fly at half-mast across the country and in all of Ghana’s diplomatic missions across the world, from Monday, 20th August 2018, for one week”.

    Many other world leaders also paid tribute to Anan, who has been described as a global statesman. Here is what they said:


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