World mourns death of a peace icon, Kofi Annan

August 18, 2018 2:42 pm
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Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 18- Leaders from across the world have mourned the death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has hailed the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his role to promote harmony in a troubled world.

In a statement, the Secretary-General said he often turned to the late Annan for counsel and wisdom.

“He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us,” SG Guterres said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta led Kenyans in mourning the global icon, who is remembered for brokering a peace accord between former president Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga after 2007-2008 post-election violence, that left more than 1000 people dead and 600,000 others internally displaced.

“I have learned – with deep sorrow – that former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan has passed away,” President Kenyatta said, in a statement.

“The international community has lost an outstanding, remarkable and suave diplomat in Kofi Annan, a former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Laureate. We feel an immense sense of sadness and grief as we mourn a distinguished man and a friend of humanity. Condolences to his family and friends as they bear with this great loss. May his soul Rest In Peace,” Deputy President William Ruto said.

In his condolence message, Odinga said the world will always remember what he terms as “the Annan Doctrine”, in which he made it clear that the need to respect sovereignty cannot be used as a shield by governments to brutalize their own citizens.

“The world will always remember and honour Dr Annan for what became known as “the Annan Doctrine” in which he made it clear that the need to respect sovereignty cannot be used as a shield by governments to brutalize their own citizens and that the international community has a right to intervene, when governments fail to protect the lives of their citizens,” Odinga said.

And the “Annan Doctrine” he said, “will remain a pillar of hope for many people across the world for generations to come if it can be adhered to.”

It is Annan, Odinga said “pushed the world to see the importance of human rights to peace, security, humanitarian affairs, economic and social development,” more than any other UN Secretary General.

He was the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006.

Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi says Annan believed in dialogue despite the outstanding issues.

“It is to Kofi that Kenya owes its current democratic environment born out of his mediation that halted the 2007/2008 political violence. Kofi arrived in Kenya to a highly divided and volatile country on the verge of civil war,” Mudavadi said.

Because of Annan, he said, “Kenyans were able to award unto themselves a most progressive constitution in 2010 that guarantees unfettered rights and freedoms.”

It is under the grand collation Government that Kenya realized massive development.

A government that was born from negotiations led by Annan.

While Kibaki served as the President, Odinga became Kenya’s second Prime Minister.

Mudavadi and President Uhuru Kenyatta served as Deputy Prime Minister.

The Ghanian born icon died at the age of 80 after a short illness.

Other than being the founder of the Kofi Annan Foundation, he was a member of The Elders, a group of global leaders working for human rights, since it was founded in 2007.

The Elders was founded by the late global icon Nelson Mandela.

He has been the group’s chairperson since 2013.

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