Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, dies in Switzerland

By Shola Oshunkeye

Ghana has been thrown into deep mourning. Africa weeps. The world wails as Saturday broke with the sad news of the passing of one of the most illustrious sons of Africa, Mr. Kofi Annan.

Annan, a quintessential diplomat, died in the early hours of Saturday in Bern, Switzerland, at the age of 80, his family and foundation jolted the world in a statement.

“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….”

They broke the sad news using the late diplomat’s twitter handle, @KofiAnnan.

The statement informed that the diplomat died in hospital in the Swiss village of Bern with his wife, Nane, and three children-Ama, Kojo and Nina, by his side. He had retired to Geneva, and later lived in Bern till his passing.

The Foundation described Annan, who succeeded Egypt’s Boutros Boutros-Ghali as UN leader, as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world”, adding that the acclaimed diplomat was a “son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa”.

Ghana’s President, Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo paid tribute on his twitter handle, (@NAkufoAddo), and declared one week of national mourning in honour of the departed great son of Africa, starting on Monday, August 20.

“He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena,” President Akufo-Addo’s statement reads in part.

“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 have 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.

“Rest in perfect peace, Kofi. You have earned it. God bless.”

(More later).


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