Breaking: Former UN Secrecretary- General Koffi Annan Dies at 80

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Former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan has said to have passed on this morning (Saturday) in Switzerland, where he was receiving medical care after an illness.

He recently visited South Africa and was in Switzerand until Saturday morning when he passed on.

In a tweet, the UN Migration body said: “Today we mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, and a visionary.”

It went on: “A life well lived. A life worth celebrating.”

Confirming the death, the Annan family and Kofi Annan Foundation posted on Facebook: “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. His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days.”

“Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law,” the post added.

It continued: “Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did. He will be greatly missed by so many around the world, as well as his staff at the Foundation and his many former colleagues in the United Nations system. He will remain in our hearts forever.”

The Annan family requested for “privacy at this time of mourning. Arrangements to celebrate his remarkable life will be announced later,” the message said.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner was born in Kumasi, Ghana in 1938 and served as the 7th UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, and was the first to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff.

He had been a member of The Elders, a group of global leaders working for human rights, since it was founded in 2007. In 2013 became its chairman.

Mr Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the United Nations in 2001 “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world.”

In 2002, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, gave him the highest honour in Asanteman and conferred the rare title of “Busumuru” on Kofi Annan in recognition of his service to humanity.

“I and the entire Ashanti state have decided to add your name to the Busumuru title, because of your selflessness and contributions to humanity, and promotion of peace throughout the world,” Otumfuo Osei Tutu II declared when he placed a symbolic gold necklace around Annan’s neck to the sound of traditional drumming.

“Busumuru” is the name of the golden sword used by the Asantehene to swear allegiance to the Ashanti kingdom at his coronation.

Mr Annan was married with three children.

(graphic online)

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