The world mourns ex-UN chief Kofi Annan

At press time Saturday, 18 August, the death of the first black African UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, was announced. The 80-year-old died in hospital in the Swiss city of Bern. Ghana, his home country, declared a week of national mourning. In a statement announcing his death, the Kofi Annan Foundation described him as a "global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world.

" It was under Kofi Annan’s tenure as UN Chief that the Green Tree Accord, the peace treaty that ended the Cameroon-Nigeria dispute over Bakassi-Peninsular was signed. The world poured tributes to the “fallen” UN Scribe. Among the most remarkable was that by Raila Odinga. In a Facebook tribute, Kenya’s opposition leader called Annan "the man who stepped in and saved the country from collapse". He was not only a statesman, he was not only a leader, he was a warm person who would support his friends in difficult moments," current UN Secretary- General António Guterres told CNN.

Annan, who was born in Ghana in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, and was the first to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work. Kofi Annan leaves behind a caring family- his wife, Nane, and three children, who were by him during his last days. He had been living near Geneva for several years.

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