World leaders arrive for funeral of Kofi Annan

Representative of Qatar Mr Thani Hamad Khalifa Hamad Al-Thani

Representative of Qatar Mr Thani Hamad Khalifa Hamad Al-Thani

Several heads of states from various countries are in the country to participate in the final funeral rites of the late Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan.


President of Namibia, Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of Ethiopia, Dr. Mulatu Teshome, Vice President of Angola, Bornito Sousa Baltazar Diogo, and Thani Hamad Khalifa Hamad Al-Thani, brother of the Emir of Qatar, were among the first to arrive at the Kotoka International Airport.


President of Liberia, George Oppong Weah, President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, Prime Minister of Niger, Brigi Rafini arrived late last night to partake in the funeral ceremony scheduled for today.


The Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Antonio Guterres, Mr Alassane Ouattarra, President of Côte d’Ivoire, President of Zimbabwe, Emerson Mnangagwa, Prime Minister of Lesotho, Pakalitha Mosisili, and several other representatives from various organisations are all expected in Accra to pay their last respect to the former UN Chief.


Mr. Annan, 80, who died after a short illness, would be buried today at the Military Cemetery in Accra after funeral rites which would be attended by several heads of states, UN officials and other dignitaries.


His body arrived in Accra from Berne, Switzerland on Monday at about 5:20pm.


It was accompanied by his widow, Nane-Marie Annan, children and some UN officials.


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia and other dignitaries of government and the Akwamu traditional area met them on arrival.


As part of the funeral arrangements, members of the public trooped to file past and pay their last respect to the former Nobel peace prize winner on Tuesday.


Ministers of state, Members of Parliament (MPs), members of the diplomatic corps, traditional leaders and other dignitaries filed past the former Head of the UN yesterday.


Mr. Annan, who was born in Kumasi in 1938, joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Office in Geneva and later served in various capacities at the UN Headquarters.


He was appointed the UN Chief in December 1996 by the Security Council and later confirmed by the General Assembly, becoming the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself.


The late Annan was re-elected for a second term in 2001 and was succeeded by South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon on January 01, 2007.


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