Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Kofi Annan, former United Nations secretary general, dead at 80

Kofi Annan, former United Nations secretary general, dead at 80

Annan served two terms as United Nations secretary-general in NY from 1997-2006 and retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside. He was 80 years old.

Former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan is reported dead.

More to follow soon.

Mr Annan who was also a Nobel Peace Prize victor died in Switzerland after a brief illness.

Describing Annan "as a great leader and diplomat extraordinaire", Ramaphosa in a statement said that Annan had "advanced the African agenda within the United Nations" and had "flown the flag for peace" around the world.

- January 1, 1997: He became United Nations secretary general, the first from within the organisation and the first from sub-Saharan Africa.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for helping to revitalise the global body, during a period that coincided with the Iraq war and the HIV/Aids pandemic.

During his tenure, he presided over some of the worst failures and scandals at the world body, one of its most turbulent periods since its founding in 1945.

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"Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good", current secretary-general Antonio Guterres said.

In 2016, Mr. Annan was named by the Myanmar government to head a panel to find "lasting solutions" to the conflict in Rakhine state, where human rights groups have documented widespread abuses against the minority Rohingya Muslims.

He was the first black African to lead the UN.

In February 2012, the United Nations appointed Annan the UN and Arab League joint special envoy to Syria.

"Kenyans will continue to remember the admirable role the late Annan played in brokering peace during the 2007/2008 post-election violence", Mr Moi said in a statement through his Press Secretary Lee Njiru. She offered condolences to his family and said "Kofi's life was one of service: he made a difference".

Kofi Annan has kept a low profile over the last few years and little was known about him except the work that he did through his foundation.

Some commentators saw the 2005 investigation of Annan and his son as payback for his invasion comments.

It was not immediately clear when Mr Annan's remains would be flown back to Ghana for burial.

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