Kenya: Uhuru, Raila Mourn Death of Ex-UN Boss Kofi Annan

President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, shakes hands with opposition leader Raila Odinga during peace talks in Nairobi, Kenya, January 2008. Peace talks have been ongoing, led by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
18 August 2018

President Uhuru Kenyatta has joined leaders around the world in mourning the death of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In a statement on Saturday, Mr Kenyatta said: "In this moment of sorrow, I condole with his family, relatives and friends. My thoughts and prayers go out to them as they come to terms with this sad news."

Mr Annan died Saturday in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, after a short illness.

Other leaders who have sent condolence messages are ODM party leader Raila Odinga and former President Daniel Arap Moi.


Mr Odinga acknowledged Mr Annan's role in helping Kenya pull itself out of the 2007/2008 post-election violence pit it had sunk itself into.

"I extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dr Annan and the UN fraternity.

"In Kenya, we retain fond memories of Dr Annan as the man who stepped in and saved the country from collapse following the 2007-2008 post-election violence," Mr Odinga said.

On his part, Mzee Moi said besides being the UN Secretary-General, he ably represented the dignity of the black African personality.

"Kenyans will continue to remember the admirable role the late Annan played in brokering peace during the 2007/2008 post-election violence," Mr Moi said in a statement through his Press Secretary Lee Njiru.


The former President noted that world has lost an international crusader of peace and human dignity.

He thus called on other public servants to emulate Mr Annan's character.

United Nations

Current UN chief Antonio Guterres voiced deep sadness at the news, describing his predecessor as "a guiding force for good".

"In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations," he added.

"He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.

"Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor."

The UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he was grief-stricken.

"Kofi was humanity's best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace. In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world's loss becomes even more painful," he said.

"He was a friend to thousands and a leader of millions."

"There are some human beings who will seem irreplaceable to us, rare human beings. Kofi Annan is high among them. Goodbye my dear friend... goodbye Kofi."


Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo declared a week of mourning, saying the national flag will fly at half-mast at home and in the country's diplomatic missions around the world in honour of "one of our greatest compatriots".

"He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena," the president said in a statement.

"He was an ardent believer in the capacity of the Ghanaian to chart his or her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity."

South Africa

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) said Annan was "an eminent and distinguished son of Africa".

"Annan was a great friend of the people of South Africa who played an immeasurable role in shaping the global agenda in favour of the people of the developing south," the ANC said in a statement.

"Amongst his many passions was silencing the guns on the African continent."


British Prime Minister Theresa May said her "thoughts and condolences are with his family".

"A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into," she said on Twitter.


Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that "today we lose a great humanist".

"Annan... has left us but his legacy remains to keep working for peace, security and to strengthen the defence of human rights," Sanchez tweeted.

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