Former UN chief Kofi Annan laid to rest in Ghana

Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan

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.

"In particular, we acknowledge the security agencies, protocol officers, traditional rulers, the media and members of the Ghanaian and global communities", the statement said.

"It is our hope that the values exhibited by the Former UN Secretary General, which include excellence, humility and peace will become subjects of our attention in the aftermath of his passing". He died on August 18 aged 80 at his home in Switzerland after a short illness.

NAN reports that as United Nations boss he was linked to peace efforts to reunite the divided island of Cyprus, submitting a reunification blueprint which was rejected in a referendum by Greek Cypriots in 2004.

Kofi Annan has been laid to rest in his native Ghana as world leaders paid tributes to the former United Nations secretary-general with calls to keep alive the legacy of a "stubborn optimist" to create a better, more peaceful world.

"A man with a generous spirit, who gave himself to others, put himself at their disposal and was one of the most loving people", Ama said on Thursday at the memorial service for the late UN Secretary General in Accra.

Annan's role as the UN's first black African leader was "an honour for Ghana", Kitcher said.

Tributes have since poured for Annan from every corner of the world to celebrate the man who founded the Kofi Annan Foundation, in 2007, upon retirement, to continually mobilise human and financial resources towards minimising poverty and creating a better and fairer world.

Mr Akufo-Addo said history had vindicated Mr Annan, saying his "epic but unavailing effort to establish the supremacy of worldwide law over the actions of even the world's greatest power won him the admiration of all right-thinking persons".

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Kofi Annan's death was felt across the continent and the world at large.

It is the climax of three days of mourning which saw thousands of Ghanaians file past his coffin as it lay in state in the capital, Accra.

Mr Guterres said Mr Annan "was an exceptional global leader - and he was also someone virtually anyone in the world could see themselves in: those on the far reaches of poverty, conflict and despair who found in him an ally; the junior United Nations staffer following in his footsteps; the young person to whom he said until his dying breath "always remember, you are never too young to lead - and we are never too old to learn". Even after finishing his term as Secretary-General, he never stopped battling on the front-lines of diplomacy.

"The great Nelson Mandela, accustomed to being called Madiba, had his own nickname for Kofi, and called him "my leader".

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.

There were also a moving tribute by his wife, Swedish lawyer and artist Nane Maria Annan.

Raila who has a long history with Annan paid his last respect to the Ghanaian diplomat with his usual signature right hand in the air.

"Custom demands that we see him off with the necessary clothing and water for his journey to the other world", one of the chiefs from the Akwamu traditional area said.

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