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UN mourns death of ex-chief Kofi Annan

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The United Nations is mourning the death of former Secretary -General Kofi Annan , who passed away peacefully after a short illness, according to a statement published on his official Twitter account on Saturday .The current UN Secretary -General Antonio Guterres paid glowing tributes to the former Secretary -General , who headed the intergovernmental organisation from 1997 to 2006 .

The renowned Ghanaian diplomat was 80 years old .

His foundation announced his death on Saturday and the late UN scribe reportedly died in hospital in Bern , Switzerland , in the early hours of Saturday .

Guterres hailed Annan as “a guiding force for good ” and a “ proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity . ”

“Like so many , I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor .

“I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership .

“He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom – and I know I was not alone , ” Guterres said in a statement .

Annan was the seventh Secretary -General of the United Nations , after Egyptian diplomat , Boutrous Boutrous- Ghali exit in December 1996.

The UN chief said: “ He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue , a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world .

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“ 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 us. ”

Kofi Annan was born in Kamasi , Ghana, on April 8 , 1938 .

He joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative and budget officer with the World Health Organisation in Geneva , rising through the ranks to hold senior-level posts in areas such as budget and finance , and peacekeeping .

He served as UN Secretary – General for two consecutive five -year terms , beginning in January 1997 .

( NAN )

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