Ghana's public says farewell to Kofi Annan

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Annan's story is intertwined with Kenya's where he led an intervention in 2007 following the disputed Presidential election pitting incumbent Mwai Kibaki against Raila Odinga.

A billboard featuring Kofi Annan is displayed at the entrance of Accra International Conference Centre in Accra.

He said the late Kofi Annan was always humble, fair-minded and fought for justice for the underprivileged in the society.

Mourners in traditional black and red attire filled the main hall of the Accra Conference Centre, which sits about 4,000 people.

However, his mortal remains were brought back to Ghana on Monday, September 10, ahead of his state burial.

A mate of the late Kofi Annan at Mfantsipim School, Seth Ashie, who also paid his last respects to the former diplomat, said the late Kofi Annan was very political during their school days in Mfantsipim.

A choir sang hymns and traditional dances were performed as the public got their chance to say farewell to one of the country's most famous sons.

He staunchly opposed the USA -led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and later served as the first United Nations envoy at the start of Syria's war, but quit after world powers failed to fulfill their commitments, saying: "I lost my troops on the way to Damascus".

"We lost a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather and an uncle, a man of deep conviction who was as committed to instilling the values of fairness, integrity, kindness and service in each of us as he was to advocating for peace and human rights around the world", he said.


"There are a lot of Ghanaians who can take on the mantle and do similar, like he did, but not like him because he is a unique individual".

"He was also someone virtually anyone in the world could see themselves in: those on the far reaching of poverty or by, conflict and despair who found in him an ally; the junior United Nations staffers following in his footsteps; the young person to whom he said until his dying breath 'always remember, you are never too young to lead - and we are never too old to learn".

President Akufo-Addo led a delegation of government officials to welcome the convoy at the Kotoka International Airport.

Pensioner Joyce Atiase said she was mourning the loss of a "great man".

He also commended the family of Kofi Annan for giving him to Ghana and the world at large. "He played a major role for our country, he did his best", she said.

"Everyone respects him", she said, adding that the state honours were no more than he deserved.

Other leaders in Accra for the funeral include Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka representing President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ford-K Party Leader Moses Wetangula.

The funeral was to be followed by a private burial at the capital's military ceremony and a 17-gun salute.

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