The coffin of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan lies before the funeral in the state. (AP: Sunday Alamba)
World leaders and international dignitaries have traveled to Ghana to pay tribute to the late Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who has been honored with a state funeral. Many praised him as an extraordinary man and leader.
- Kofi Annan was one of the most famous diplomats in the world
- The former UN chief was praised for his efforts to promote world peace
- At the funeral in Ghana, some 6,000 mourners have paid their last respects
Mr Annan died on 18 August in Bern, Switzerland, at the age of 80 after a short illness.
As a grandson of tribal chiefs he was the first black African, who became the UN leader and in 2001 received the Nobel Peace Prize.
"Kofi Annan was courageous and spoke the truth of power while subjecting himself to intense self-examination," said current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Presidents from all over Africa, together with Mr. Guterres, the Annan family, and many others came to a ceremony in Accra, the capital of Mr. Annan's homeland, Ghana, which completed two days of public viewing. An estimated 6,000 mourners attended the ceremony.
The Presidents of Namibia, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone attended, as well as the Vice President of Niger and Angola's Vice President.
Former leaders from Europe and Africa also attended the ceremony, including Graca Machel, wife of the late South African president Nelson Mandela.
Kofi Annan was Secretary General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006. (AP: Charlie Neibergall / file)
Mr Guterres said that Annan was "an extraordinary global leader – and that he was also someone in which virtually everyone in the world could see themselves: those on the verge of poverty, conflict and despair, who found an ally in him; Footsteps, the young man to whom he said to his last breath, "Remember, you're never too young to lead – and we're never too old to learn."
Mr. Guterres, who was elected by Annan UN High Commissioner for Refugees, spoke of the honor of working with him to survive "many of the same global storms."
"The world has lost a standard carrier of global cooperation," he said.
"The United Nations has lost an embodiment of its mission."
Even after his time as Secretary General, Mr. Annan continued to work at the front of diplomacy, Guterres said.
"He helped ease post-Kenyan tensions, did everything possible to find a political solution to the brutal war in Syria, and paved the way for justice and rights for the Rohingya in Myanmar," Guterres said ,
UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres lays down a wreath at the funeral of his predecessor Kofi Annan. (AP: Sunday Alamba)
Ghana's president, Nana Akufo-Addo, said that Annan was bold and never gave up what he believed.
Despite his unjustified attacks on him when he attempted to hold him responsible for the Rwandan and Srebrenica genocides when he was head of UN peacekeeping operations, he never lost his moral compass, as he showed when he defied the power of the United Nations United States of America, when it began the unfortunate intervention in Iraq. "
Mr. Akufo-Addo said that the story has confirmed Mr. Annan, saying that his "epic but futile effort to establish the supremacy of international law over the actions of the greatest power in the world has won him the admiration of all right-thinking people brought in".
He added that Mr. Annan was a fervent believer in the ability of Ghana and the African continent to follow its own path of progress.
Annan's wife, Nane, "thanked God for giving her such an extraordinary human being," while his daughter Ama Annan Adedeji said her father was "one of the most loving people I know."
Ghanaian soldiers carry the coffin of Kofi Annan, wrapped in the flag of Ghana. (AP: Sunday Alamba)
Mourners crowded into the conference center in Accra, where his coffin had been kept since his arrival on Monday and where the funeral took place.
A private funeral followed at the military cemetery of Accra with full military honors and a salute of 17 guns.
AP / Reuters
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