The body of the late United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Busumuru Kofi Annan, yesterday arrived in Accra, Ghana.
Hundreds of sympathisers including family members and government officials converged at the Kotoka International Airport where the mortal remains of the late global icon arrived.
The body was accompanied by his wife, children and some UN officials, and was received by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The Nobel Laureate died at age 80 in Bern, Switzerland, on Saturday, August 18, surrounded by his wife, Nane Maria, and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina.
He was reported to have fallen ill on his return trip from South Africa after he had attended the centenary celebration of the birth of a former South African President, Nelson Mandela.
He was hospitalised in Geneva, Switzerland, and later airlifted to the Swiss capital, Bern, where he died peacefully.
Annan will be accorded a state burial and his body interred at the new Military Cemetery in Accra on September 13, 2018 after burial service at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) on Wednesday, September 12., 2018
An outline of the programme issued by a member of the Kofi Annan Funeral Planning Committee, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who is also the Minister of Information-designate, said the general public would be given the opportunity to file past the remains on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.
It said dignitaries, including chiefs, Members of Parliament (MPs), ministers of state, and members of the diplomatic corps would file past the body on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
Born in Kumasi on April 8, 1938, the Ghanaian diplomatic icon served as the 7th Secretary-General of the UN from January 1997 to December 2006.
He was the co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize with the UN.
After his death, following a short illness, world leaders continued to celebrate Kofi Annan’s contribution to humanity.
All the comments had something to say about the contribution of the former UN secretary general to global peace and human development.
President Akufo-Addo, former Presidents John Dramani Mahama and Jerry John Rawlings, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres; the British Prime Minister, Theresa May; the Russian President, Vladimir Putin; the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, had all paid glowing tributes to Kofi Annan’s memory.
Other leaders who had expressed their condolences were the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu; the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa; Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari; German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and former US Presidents Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton.
In recognition of Annan’s stature and to mourn him, President Akufo-Addo directed that Ghana’s national flag fly at half-mast across the country and in all the country’s diplomatic missions across the world for one-week in honour of the celebrated statesman.
Kofi Annan joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU