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MORTAL REMAINS OF KOFI ANNAN ARRIVE

General News

The mortal remains of former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, arrived in the country from Switzerland yesterday for onward state burial.

The mortal remains of former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, arrived in the country from Switzerland yesterday for onward state burial.

 

His widow Nane Maria Annan together with his children and some executives of the United Nations accompanied the body.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Ghana Armed Forces received the body at the Kotoka International Airport followed with a brief ceremony made for him.

The public will have the opportunity between 10:00 am and 4:00pm today to file past the remains in order to pay their last respects to him at the Accra International Conference Center (AICC).

Some dignitaries including recognised groups, chiefs, Members of Parliament and Ministers of State, will have their turn to pay their last respects to the former UN boss tomorrow.

A burial service will be held on Thursday, 13 September 2018 at AICC followed by a private burial at the new military cemetery with full military honours and a 17-gun salute.

Mr Kofi Annan died in Switzerland on 18 August 2018 after a short illness.

                                                                                                      Early life

Born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938, Kofi Annan after joining the  UN system in 1962 as an administrative officer with the World Health Organization in Geneva. He later served with the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, the UN Emergency Force in Ismailia, the UN high commissioner for refugees in Geneva and in several senior posts at its headquarters in New York.

Before becoming Secretary General, he was under-secretary general for peacekeeping and also served as special representative of the secretary general to the former Yugoslavia between 1995 and 1996.

The UN peacekeeping operation faced two of its most criticised incidents under Annan’s leadership for its conduct during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and the massacre in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

In both cases, the UN had deployed troops under Annan’s command, but they failed to save the lives of the civilians they were mandated to protect. After becoming secretary general, he ordered UN reports on both debacles that were highly critical of his management.

His tenure as Secretary General, which began six years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and also covered the 11 September 2001 attacks and subsequent US-led war against Iraq, was one of the UN’s most turbulent periods since its founding in 1945.

Annan used his final speech as secretary general in December 2006 to deliver a parting shot at the administration of George W Bush, accusing the US of committing human rights abuses in the name of fighting terrorism.

 “When power, especially military force, is used, the world will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose – for broadly shared aims in accordance with broadly accepted norms,” he said.