Final farewell to UN’s Kofi Annan at Ghana state funeral

Accra: World leaders past and present, traditional rulers and global royalty on Thursday joined the family of Kofi Annan, as the former UN secretary general’s state funeral took place in his native Ghana.
Hundreds of dignitaries, most of them dressed in black mourning clothes, gathered at the Accra International Conference Centre, to mark the end of three days of national mourning for the respected diplomat.
Annan’s casket was centre stage at the religious service and surrounded by flowers and candles. The current UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, led mourners from the diplomatic corps, while there were representatives of the African Union, the West African bloc ECOWAS, and presidents from across Africa and beyond. Royalty included Princess Beatrix, the former queen of the Netherlands, and her daughter-in-law Princess Mabel, who were close friends of Annan. Annan led the UN from 1997 to 2006 and was the first from sub-Saharan Africa to do so. He died on August 18 aged 80 at his home in Switzerland after a short illness. The funeral will be followed by a private burial at the capital’s military ceremony and a 17-gun salute.
The Anglican bishop of Annan’s home city of Kumasi in southern Ghana, the Most Reverend Daniel Sarfo, said: “Today history is being made in Ghana. One of our illustrious sons is lying here. “But we are grateful that God used him over the years to work for humanity, for peace. Today, as he lies here, he has finished his work. “We pray that all of us will emulate the service that your son has rendered to mankind. No matter what we are we will also die,” he told the congregation.
Ordinary Ghanaians and dignitaries have paid their respects to Annan since his coffin was returned from Geneva and received with full honours on Monday. (AFP)

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