30 August 2018

Ghana: Kofi Annan to Be Buried At Military Cemetery Sept 13

Photo: The Elders
Former UN Secretary General, and Nobel Peace laureate, Kofi Annan (file photo).

The late United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan will be buried at the Military Cemetery in Accra on September 13 this year.

It would be preceded by a burial service at 10:00A.M at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), which would have in attendance President Nana Akufo-Addo and members of his government, UN officials, heads of states, diplomatic delegations from various countries and members of the Ghanaian public.

The mortal remains of the former diplomat who died at Berne in Switzerland after a short illness on August 18, is scheduled to arrive at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra at 4:00P.M. on September 10.

Briefing the media in Accra yesterday, Minister of Information Designate, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the body, which would be accompanied by the widow, Mrs Nane Annan, children and some UN officials, would be met on arrival by President Nana Akufo-Addo and some dignitaries for a brief ceremony led by the Ghana Armed Forces.

Following that, he said the body would then be laid in state at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) for the viewing for the general public on September 11 to file past and pay their last respect to the man widely known for reforming the UN.

Dignitaries including Members of Parliaments (MPs), chiefs, ministers, heads of foreign Missions in Ghana, recognised groups among others, he said have been scheduled to file past the late Kofi Anna on Wednesday, August 12 to also pay respect to the former UN Chief.

Mr Nkrumah said all arrangements for the final funeral rites of the late diplomat were done in line with Mr Kofi Annan's personal wish for a modest ceremony when he passes on and in consultations with the family.

The book of condolence opened in memory of him at the AICC would be closed tomorrow, August 31.

It has so far gathered messages of condolence from President Nana Akufo-Addo, former President John Dramani Mahama, Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, heads of missions in Ghana, heads of political parties, representatives of development partners and regional organisations, clergymen, heads of Civil Society Organisations among others.

Following confirmation of Kofi Annan's death, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo declared a seven-day national mourning directing that all flags flew at half-mast in honour of the late diplomat and paid glowing tribute to the man widely known for reforming the UN.

"The government and people of Ghana, First Lady Rebecca and I are deeply saddened by the news of the death, in Berne, Switzerland, of one of our greatest compatriot, Mr Kofi Annan," President Akufo-Addo said.

On behalf of the people of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said "our sincere, heartfelt condolences to his beloved widow, Nane Maria, and to his devoted children, Ama, Kojo and Nina, on this great loss. I am, however, comforted by the information, after speaking to Nane Maria that he died peacefully in his sleep."

"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.

To former President John Dramani Mahama, Kofi Annan "lived and worked for global peace, security and sustainable development in very challenging times.

He described the former UN Chief as a "proud son of Ghana and Africa. RIP Kofi Annan," Mr Mahama posted on his Facebook page on Saturday.

Extending his condolences to the Kofi Anna family, former President Rawlings said "Global diplomacy has lost a true gem.

He said "Kofi Annan was a fine diplomat who committed most of his professional life to world peace. He was one of the best, a born diplomat. He made Ghana and Africa proud and left a great legacy at the United Nations."

The UN, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, António Guterres said "Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good... .a global champion for peace" whose "legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us."

According to Mr Guterres, "in many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations" who, led the organisation into a new millennium with "matchless dignity and determination and provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world."

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