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Mourners In Ghana Bid Kofi Annan Good Bye

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Mourners throng out on Tuesday to say their final farewell to the former General Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, as he is buried in the capital of his native Ghana.

Ahead of his final private burial in Accra on Thursday, the West African nation received his body from Switzerland on Monday.

Kofi Annan, who passed on at aged 80 on August 18 after a  brief illness was the first leader of the world’s organisation from sub-saharan Africa. He was also a recipient of the coveted Nobel peace laureate.

His coffin, draped in Ghana’s red, green and gold flag, was guarded by senior military officers in ceremonial uniform at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The bereaved mourners had the chance to say goodbye to one of their famous sons amidst hymns sang by the choir and traditional songs.

Fritz Kitcher, who spent his career working for the United Nations in Geneva in human rights, said he saw Annan rise through the ranks.

Now retired and back living in Ghana, he said Annan taught him “the benefit of humility, the benefit of honesty, the benefit of decisiveness, and diplomacy from the grassroots”.

His role at the UN’s first black African leader was “an honour for Ghana”, he said.

“It was marvellous in our eyes, it was one of these things that we can only dream… he lifted Africa and showed that we are also able to do great things,” Kitcher told AFP.

Scores of world leaders past and present, as well as royalty, are expected in Accra for Annan’s funeral on Thursday.

A private burial service will then be held in the city’s military cemetery.

 

 

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