Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General dies in Switzerland


Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General dies in Switzerland

In Summary

  • According to the BBC, Kofi Annan was the first African diplomat to hold the position of U.N. Secretary General.
  • His soft-spoken diplomacy earned him recognition across the world.
  • Annan was a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize alongside the U.N.

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is dead.

According to a statement from the Kofi Annan Foundation, he died in Switzerland on Saturday morning after a short illness.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness.

“His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days,” the statement reads.

The 80-year-old is renowned in Kenya for having brokered a peace deal between the then President Mwai Kibaki and Opposition leader Raila Odinga at the height of the 2007/8 post election violence.

Kofi Annan with Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga in 2008. Photo/FILE/COURTESY
Kofi Annan with Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga in 2008. Photo/FILE/COURTESY

The famous “secret envelope” that contained the Waki report was handed to Kofi Annan and in July 2009, the peace envoy handed it over to Luis Moreno Ocampo.

At the time, Ocampo was the main prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The Hague-based court would later use the document to charge six suspects: William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, Henry Kosgey, Francis Muthaura, Hussein Ali and Joshua Arap Sang.

Justice Philip Waki Hands over the 'secret' envelope containing the names of the post-election violence suspects to Kofi Annan. Photo/FILE/COURTESY

However, all the cases collapsed with the last two being terminated in 2016; the ICC later admitting to lapses in its prosecutorial strategy.

Kofi Annan has kept a low profile over the last few years and little was known about him except the work that he did through his foundation.

The Ghanaian was appointed U.N. Secretary General in 1996 after having served in different capacities within the same organization.

According to the BBC, he was the first African diplomat to hold such a position, which he held until December 2006.

According to the country’s local media, his soft-spoken diplomacy earned him recognition across the world.

He alongside the UN were co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

Report by Rachel Ombaka and Wangui Ngechu

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