BREAKING : Former UN chief Kofi Annan dies at age of 80

The Former United Nations secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80 on Saturday (Aug 18).

Annan served as UN Secretary General from 1997 to 2006 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001.

The Ghanaian national died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of this morning.

Kofi Annan has died aged 80 (Image: GETTY)
Kofi Annan has died aged 80 (Image: GETTY)

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Kofi Annan Foundation and Mr Annan’s family announced that the Nobel Laureate passed away after a short illness.

“His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days,” read the statement.

“Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world.” it added. “During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations, he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.”

Mr Annan’s family has requested privacy during this time of mourning, said the statement. Arrangements to celebrate his life will be announced later.

Mr Annan filled a number of roles in his long diplomatic career at the UN from peacekeeping operations to managerial positions and later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres hailed his predecessor, calling Mr Annan a “guiding force for good”.

Mr Annan’s Nobel citation commended him for bringing new life to the peacekeeping organisation and highlighted the United Nations’s fight for civil rights.

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