Kofi Annan's widow bids farewell to an "extraordinary human being"

Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been laid to rest Thursday in ...

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 9:40 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2018 9:40 PM

Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been laid to rest Thursday in his home country of Ghana.

Thousands of mourners gathered in the Accra International Conference Center to pay their last respects during an emotional funeral service on Thursday.

Africa

African Americans

Antonio Guterres

Awards and prizes

Continents and regions

Deaths and fatalities

Demographic groups

Eastern Africa

Funerals

Ghana

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Government organizations - Intl

International relations

International relations and national security

Kofi Annan

Minority and ethnic groups

Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Prize

Peacekeeping

Political Figures - Intl

Population and demographics

Rwanda

Society

State departments and diplomatic services

United Nations

Unrest, conflicts and war

Western Africa

Annan's widow, Nane Maria Annan was visibly moved as solo singer Alice Twum gave a rendition of the hymn "It Is Well."

During her eulogy, the widow told the congregation: "Kofi always believed that his inner strength and sense of hope came from his deep roots here and I want to thank Ghana for giving me such an extraordinary human being.

"My love, you are now back home where you started your long journey. But may your wisdom and compassion continue to guide us, wherever we are," she added.

Annan's son Kojo and daughter Ama also paid tribute to their father during the three-hour ceremony.

Kojo, 45, said: "To the rest of the world, he was a global statesman par excellence. To me he was just Daddy. His singular gift is that he believed in humanity's potential. He believed in everyone's ability to achieve extraordinary things if given an opportunity."

Annan, the first black man to lead the United Nations, died in August at 80 after a brief illness.

His body was flown back to Ghana from Switzerland on Monday ahead of the funeral.

The Ghanaian diplomat was the seventh UN secretary-general, serving from 1997 to 2006, and was the first to rise from within the ranks of the UN staff.

Annan, described by former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as "Africa's foremost son," led the United Nations at a time of raging global terrorism; his efforts at combating conflicts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

Current UN Secretary General António Guterres praised his close friend as an "exceptional global leader."

"He had a gentle voice that made people smile and think of music but his words were also tough and wise. Kofi Annan was courageous speaking truth to power while subjecting himself to intense scrutiny," Guterres said.

"Kofi Annan was the United Nations and the United Nations was him," Guterres added.

World leaders who attended the funeral include six African presidents: Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, George Weah of Liberia, Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire, Hage Geingob of Namibia and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.

Many of Ghana's traditional rulers, clad in their customary black and red flowing robes, were also present during the service.

Funeral rites are deemed very important in Ghana, and one of the traditional rulers told CNN that Annan should have been laid to rest in his ancestral home in the east of the country, with other royal family members.

Nana Annom III told CNN: "Kofi Annan is a royal so he should have been buried with the others where he was born. He is an international figure so it was permitted for him to be buried in Accra," he said.

Annan's cortege was taken a few meters away from the conference center to the military cemetery, where he was given full military honors, including a 17-gun salute.

The UN will hold two other ceremonies in Annan's honor later this month in Geneva, Switzerland, and in New York.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 49°
Columbus
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 52°
Oxford
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 39°
Starkville
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 46°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather