Kofi Annan laid in state, mourners pay final respects

Kofi Annan laid in state mourners pay final respects

World leaders to attend Kofi Annan’s state funeral in Ghana

Before the arrival of the chiefs, the diplomatic corps, former and present ministers of state, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), representatives from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, some security chiefs and members of the Mfantsipim Old Boys Association (MOBA) were also there to pay their last respects.

"The greatest tribute we could ever pay is to follow his example", he added to conclude a three-hour ceremony of tributes, prayer and song.

He was United Nations secretary-general from 1997 to 2006, the first black African to hold the world's top diplomatic post.

"There are high-profile funerals that I've attended that I've seen the casket covered even in this country and, so, it's not a major problem; the important thing is that you see the family sitting in state, and, so, the man Kofi Annan himself is a modest person, and, so, he doesn't want a lot of flamboyance around the funeral with a lot of frills".

The current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his remarks at the funeral of his predecessor, played glowing tributes to Annan, who died on August 18, at the age of 80 years.

The Ghana government led by President Akufo Addo officially received the body of Kofi Annan at the Kotoka International Airport, KIA.

Many ordinary Ghanaians described him as a father-figure and a source of national pride, while his brother, Kobina, told the congregation that he was not just a leader and statesman.

"Stubborn optimist that he was, he would want us all to look forward with hope and keep striving to create a freer, fairer and more peaceful world".

In an address, Mr Guterres hailed Mr Annan, who served as the seventh UN Secretary-General between 1997 and 2006, as an exceptional global leader with a deep faith in the role of the UN as a force for good.

The wife of Kofi Annan has paid her last respect to her husband, Kofi Atta Annan.

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

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, as the world was reeling from the September 11 terror attacks in the United States, jointly with the UN "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world".

Opera singer and United Nations goodwill ambassador Barbara Hendricks, who performed at his Nobel ceremony, on Thursday sang the civil rights anthem "Oh, Freedom".

Pointing to his time at the helm of the UN, Guterres said Annan had an nearly mystical sense of the role of the UN as a force for good in a world of ills.

He kept up his diplomatic work, taking mediation roles in Kenya and Syria, and more recently heading an advisory commission in Myanmar on the crisis in Rakhine state.

He managed to broker the deal that led to formation of the Grand Coalition Government, pulling Kenya from the edge of the precipice.

Mr Odinga travelled on Monday while Mr Lusaka arrived in the west Africa nation on Tuesday ahead of the funeral on Thursday.

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