Davido Pays Tribute To Cote D’Ivore’s DJ Arafat

 

Nigerian singer and songwriter, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido on Monday joined music fans to mourn popular Cote D’Ivore singer, DJ Arafat who died in a road accident in Abidjan.

The news of Arafat’s death came to the public knowledge after the country’s broadcaster RTI tweeted it, saying: “Death of artist DJ Arafat… today at 8:00 am as a result of a road accident overnight.”

Davido in reaction to the news took to his official Tweeter handle and paid tribute to Arafat.

He posted an old picture of himself and Arafat while professing his love for the late artist with the caption, “RIP Yorobo. I love you”.

READ ALSO: DJ Arafat Dies In Cote D’Ivore Road Crash

Born in Abidjan in 1986, DJ Arafat — real name Ange Didier Huon — was avidly followed in French-speaking western and central African countries.

He issued 11 albums, mainly of “coupe-decale” — a dance music form combining choppy rhythms with hip-hop-style vocals.

Ivorian Culture Minister Maurice Kouakou Bandaman expressed his condolences and said a tribute would be organised to honour the musician.

Indians Pay Tributes To Religious Leader Who Died At 111

Crowds gather around the body of Indian spiritual leader Shivakumara Swami after his death at the age of 111 in Tumakuru, some 75km northwest of Bangalore, on January 21, 2019. STR / AFP

 

Tens of thousands of people thronged the streets of an Indian town on Monday to pay their last respects to the 111-year-old head of a Hindu religious sect known as “the walking god” to his followers.

Shivakumara Swami was the head of Sree Siddaganga Mutt, a highly influential monastery which runs hundreds of schools across southern Karnataka state.

His body, wrapped in saffron robes and flower garlands, was held aloft and paraded through crowds in Tumakuru, an industrial town near Bangalore.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those to pay tribute to Swami, who died on Monday in a local hospital.

“(Swami) lived for the people, especially the poor and vulnerable. He devoted himself towards alleviating ills like poverty, hunger and social injustice,” Modi said on Twitter.

“He represents the best of our traditions of compassionate service, spirituality and protecting the rights of the underprivileged.”

Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi offered his own condolences, describing the religious leader’s death as leaving “a deep spiritual void” in the country.

Swami remained a revered figure in the region even though his advanced age kept him from public appearances for several years.

The many educational institutions established by Swami’s monastery provided free shelter, food and education for poor students in Karnataka.

The state government announced three days of mourning to mark his death.

AFP

Wike, Ambode, Dickson Describe Shagari’s Death As A Major Loss

Late Shehu Shagari

 

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson have described the death of former president Shehu Shagari as a major loss.

Wike in his condolence message on Saturday described the passage of the first executive President of Nigeria, Shagari, as a sad loss to the entire country.

He commiserated with the government and people of Sokoto State and added that the Former President died at a time the entire nation would have benefited from his guidance during an important election circle.

He said the late former President would be remembered for his patriotic contributions to the development of the country.

READ ALSO:

PDP Says Shagari’s Death ‘A National Tragedy’, Wants Him Immortalised

Buhari, IBB Mourn ‘Patriotic Leader’ Shehu Shagari

Governor Ambode in his statement described the late Shagari as a complete gentleman, a thoroughbred democrat and philanthropist per excellence who contributed immensely to Nigeria’s growth and development.

“The late President lived an exemplary life; he was a democrat and a fine gentleman whose idea of power was that of being a tool to serve his fatherland and humanity. He was an elder statesman in the true sense of the word.

“He was also a detribalized Nigerian who was committed to the course of a united, indivisible and prosperous Nigeria. He believed so much in all-inclusive governance and was one of those patriotic Nigerians who contributed in laying the foundation of sustainable democracy in Nigeria,” Governor Ambode said.

Governor Dickson in his statement described the death of Shagari, as a major loss to the country.

The governor expressed shock and heartfelt condolences over Shagari’s death. He described him as a compassionate leader and decent politician who was considerate of the peculiar challenges of the Niger Delta and the Ijaw Nation in particular.

The governor said Shagari passed on at a critical time his vast experience and wise counsel was needed in the country.

He urged Nigerians to learn from and emulate the simple, decent and peaceful lifestyle the former President lived.

Tributes For Former US President George Bush

Former US president George H. W. Bush introduces his son US President George W. Bush (not pictured) during the dedication ceremony of the new US embassy in Beijing. Former US president George H.W. Bush, who helped steer America through the end of the Cold War, has died at age 94, his family announced late Friday November 30, 2018. Mandel NGAN / AFP

 

Tributes have poured in for former US president George H.W. Bush following his death on Friday at the age of 94.

Here are excerpts of messages from the worlds of politics, business and Hollywood:

 ‘Best dad’ 

“George H.W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for.”

— his son, former president George W. Bush

 ‘Faith, family and country’ 

“Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service.”

— US President Donald Trump

An unlikely friendship 

“I am profoundly grateful for every minute I spent with President Bush and will always hold our friendship as one of my life’s greatest gifts.”

— former US president Bill Clinton, who defeated Bush in the 1992 election

 ‘True partner’ 

“We had the chance to work together during the time of enormous changes. And this was a dramatic time which called for huge responsibility from everyone. The result was the end of the Cold War and the arms race… He was a true partner.”

— former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev

‘Noble, joyous calling’ 

“George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. (…) It’s a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try.”

— former US president Barack Obama

 ‘A true friend’ 

“It was a stroke of luck in German history that he was at the head of the United States of America when the Cold War came to an end and Germany’s reunification became possible. The German people had a true friend in him…”

— German Chancellor Angela Merkel

 ‘We will never forget’ 

“In 1989, at a time of upheaval and challenges, when the blocs were staggering and the decades-long confrontation was beginning to crumble, he bravely seized the opportunity to end the Cold War. He is among the architects of German unity. We will never forget that.”

— German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

 ‘Example to us all’ 

“President George H.W. Bush’s ethos of public service was the guiding thread of his life and an example to us all. (…) Today Britain remembers a great statesman and a true friend of our country.”

— British Prime Minister Theresa May

 ‘Lifelong friend’ 

“I feel privileged to have worked with him, and even more privileged that he became a lifelong friend. He was, quite simply, one of the most deep down decent people I have ever known.”

— former British prime minister John Major

 A strong backer of US-Europe alliance 

“He was a world leader, who strongly supported the alliance with Europe. Our sympathy to his family and beloved ones.”

— French President Emmanuel Macron

 Making Europe safer 

“I will never forget the role he played in making Europe a safer and more united place following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain.”

— European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

 Embodied US values 

“President Bush was the embodiment of the values of the United States, standing up for what was right and fighting throughout his life for freedom from tyranny and oppression in any guise.”

— Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison

 ‘One last flight’ 

“President Bush has left us for one last flight but his destination isn’t unknown. He’s flying into the arms of the love of his life, Barbara.”

— Hollywood action hero and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

 ‘Great American’ 

“We have lost a great American. Service defined President George H.W. Bush’s life, and he taught all of us about leadership, sacrifice and decency.”

— Apple CEO Tim Cook

 ‘Truly admirable’ 

“It is truly admirable to have lived over 94 years. While nothing can replace the loss of a father, we can rejoice in the fact that his was a meaningful life, dedicated to public service.”

— Dalai Lama

 ‘Pray for him’ 

“I want to sincerely pray for him… When I visited the United States shortly after I took office as prime minister in 1989, Mr. Bush welcomed me at his home… When he visited Japan, we went out to eat steak together.”

— Former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu

AFP

Trump Cancels G20 Conference ‘Out Of Respect’ To Bush Family

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (L), US President Donald Trump (C) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are pictured after signing a new free trade agreement in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018, on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit. The revamped accord, called the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), looks a lot like the one it replaces. But enough has been tweaked for Trump to declare victory on behalf of the US workers he claims were cheated by NAFTA. Martin BERNETTI / AFP

 

United States President, Donald Trump has cancelled the G20 press conference ‘out of respect’ to Bush family.

Trump was scheduled to hold a press conference planned for Saturday at the G20 summit.

But the US President aborted the conference because he wanted to show respect to the family of late president George H.W. Bush.

“Out of respect for the Bush Family and former President George H.W. Bush we will wait until after the funeral to have a press conference,” Trump tweeted.

Bush, the 41st president, died Friday at 94.

Details soon…

Bush Made Europe ‘Safer, More United’ Says EU’s Juncker

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker/ AFP

 

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker hailed US president George H.W. Bush on Saturday for the part he played in bringing unity and peace to Europe after the Cold War.

“I will never forget the role he played in making Europe a safer and more united place following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain,” Juncker said of Bush, who died on Friday aged 94.

Bush’s “calmness, leadership and close personal relationships with (German Chancellor) Helmut Kohl and (Soviet Russian leader) Mikhail Gorbachev were decisive in restoring peace and freedom back to so many people across our continent,” the former Luxembourg prime minister added.

“We Europeans will forever remember this,” Juncker said.

European Parliament president Antonio Tajani in a tweet said that “Europe has lost a champion of its freedom and unity during the Cold War.”

AFP

Spider Man, Captain America Actors, Others Pay Tributes To Stan Lee

Executive Director of the film, Stan Lee poses for photographers at the world premiere of Marvel Studios ‘Doctor Strange’ in Hollywood, California. 
Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

 

Tributes poured in Monday for Stan Lee — the co-creator of iconic superheroes including Spider-Man, The Hulk and the X-Men — following his death at age 95.

These are some of the ways in which the Marvel Comics legend is being remembered:

Wolverine 

“We’ve lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy and… to have helped bring one of his characters to life. #StanLee#Wolverine” — Hugh Jackman, actor who played Wolverine

Iron Man 

“I owe it all to you,,, Rest In Peace Stan…” — Robert Downey Jr, an actor who played Iron Man

Captain America 

“There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!” — Chris Evans, the actor who played Captain America

 Spider-Man 

“How many millions of us are indebted to this guy, none more so than me. The father of Marvel has made so many people so incredibly happy. What a life and what a thing to have achieved. Rest in peace Stan.” — Tom Holland, the actor who played Spider-Man

The Jedi 

“His contribution to Pop Culture was revolutionary & cannot be overstated. He was everything you hoped he would be & MORE. I loved this man & will never stop missing him. They say you should never meet a childhood idol. They are wrong. #RIPStanTheMan.” — Mark Hamill, an actor who played Luke Skywalker

Fellow cartoonist 

“Devastated by my pal Stan’s passing. He was a childhood inspiration, an instructor to me when I was just getting started and a genuinely sweet man. Will miss him terribly.” — Frank Miller, cartoonist

The Hulk 

“You let us be extra-human… superhuman even. I am deeply honoured to have been a small part in the Stan Lee constellation.” — Mark Ruffalo, the actor who played The Hulk

 The Wasp 

“I believe with all my heart that #StanLee would want to be celebrated today. Even through your tears, let’s flood the internet with all the artwork, good, great or awful, that’s ever been created in Stan’s name.” — Evangeline Lilly, actress who played The Wasp

 Marvel Studios 

“No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and his millions of fans. #ThankYouStan #Excelsior!” — Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios

The Academy 

“Today, we lost a real-life superhero. Stan Lee, thank you for everything.” — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Astrophysicist 

“Born before Edwin Hubble discovered the expanding universe, he ultimately created an expanding universe of his own – one of the scientifically literate superheroes such as Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, & Black Panther. Stan Lee RIP: 1922 – 2018.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson

AFP

Leicester City Footballers Pay Tributes To Vichai

Leicester City’s team arrive at Wat Thepsirin Buddhist temple in Bangkok on the second day of funeral ceremony for Leicester City’s Thai owner and duty-free mogul, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on November 4, 2018. Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

 

Players and staff from Leicester City were set to arrive in Bangkok Sunday to attend a mourning rite for the club’s chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, whose death last week in a helicopter crash stunned the Premier League club.

Sunday marks the second day of a week-long ceremony held at Wat Thepsirin, one of Bangkok’s most famous temples which typically serves as the site for funerals of very important Thais.

Over the coming days, Thailand’s business and political elites are expected to visit the temple to pay their respects, while monks will chant Buddhist verses over the duty-free mogul’s body.

Vichai, 60, died last week, along with four others, when his helicopter crashed and burst into flames moments after taking off from Leicester‘s pitch following a match.

His death sent shockwaves through Leicester, where the charismatic Vichai had become a beloved figure in the club and the city — a feat rarely achieved by the Premier League’s foreign owners.

It was under Vichai’s ownership that Leicester crafted one of the biggest fairy tales in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title

On Saturday the team played at Cardiff City, their first match since his death, with players from both teams coming together to pay their respects before the game.

Massive banners featuring Thailand’s flag saying “R.I.P. Vichai” moved across the stadium, and the crowd observed a minute of silence. Fans wore T-shirts with Vichai’s picture on it, underneath the words “The Boss”.

After the match, 13 members of Leicester City — including manager Claude Puel, striker Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki — boarded a chartered flight to Bangkok, according to a statement from Vichai’s company, King Power.

Along with director of football Jon Rudkin, the other players attending are all part of the first-team squad.

They are team captain Wes Morgan, defenders Harry Maguire, Christian Fuchs and Ben Chiwell, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison, Marc Albrighton and Andy King.

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel — who is believed to be the closest of all the Leicester players to Vichai — will also attend the funeral.

A King Power spokesman also added that Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, the daughter of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, is expected to attend Sunday’s ceremony.

The first three days of the elaborate ceremony will have royal sponsorship.

After the week-long ceremony, Vichai’s body will be kept for 100 days before cremation, though a date has yet to be set.

Vichai’s company started out with a single store in Bangkok; today, his King Power empire includes a monopoly over the duty-free shops in Thailand’s tourist-heavy airports.

Despite his business smarts Vichai owed his ascent to the canny navigation of Thailand’s unpredictable politics and powerbrokers.

His links to the monarchy were reflected in the name of his company and his surname — which was bestowed upon him by the former king, and means “auspicious and prosperous light”.

Vichai leaves behind a wife and four children, two sons and two daughters.

The four other crash victims were identified by British police as Nursara Suknamai — an actress and a runner-up in Miss Thailand Universe in 2005 — and Kaveporn Punpare, both members of Vichai’s staff, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

AFP

Thai Billionaire’s Family Visit Leicester Crash Site

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (R) and Aimon Srivaddhanaprabha (2R), the son and wife of Leicester City’s Thai chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who died in a helicopter crash at the club’s stadium, pray after laying wreaths at the tributes to the victims of the crash at Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium in Leicester, eastern England, on October 29, 2018.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

The family of the late Thai billionaire boss of Premier League club Leicester City paid tribute to him on Monday at the site where his helicopter crashed as investigators began examining the aircraft’s black box.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s son and widow were seen laying a wreath among a sea of tributes from fans outside the stadium, including flowers, football scarves and Buddhist statues.

Vichai’s son Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, known as “Top”, is chief executive of his father’s duty-free empire King Power and also vice-chairman of the football club Vichai bought in 2010.

Air accident investigators also on Monday said they had recovered the helicopter’s digital flight data recorder, which was subject to “intense heat” in a fire after the crash.

“Today our inspectors.. will start working on the recorder,” the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said in a statement.

Along with other family members and executives from King Power, the two were also seen laying wreaths at the crash site in a car park near the stadium, which is still cordoned off as air accident investigators pick through the wreckage.

Five people died in Saturday’s crash, including also two members of Vichai’s staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and the pilot’s girlfriend, Izabela Roza Lechowicz, also a pilot.

Nursara Suknamai was an actress and a runner-up in Miss Thailand Universe in 2005.

Vichai, 60, a regular at matches who used to fly to and from home games, was much-loved in the city as the driving force behind the club’s historic 2016 Premiership victory.

His blue helicopter took off from the pitch after the stadium emptied following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham, but crashed moments later in the car park.

Earlier British Prime Minister Theresa May and Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, offered their condolences over the crash.

“I was lucky to have known Vichai for several years. He was a businessman of strong values who was dedicated to his family and who supported a number of important charitable causes,” said William, the Duke of Cambridge.

“He made such a big contribution to football, not least through Leicester City’s magical 2016 season that captured the imagination of the world.

“He will be missed by all fans of the sport and everyone lucky enough to have known him.”

May said her thoughts were with the family and friends of the victims as well as supporters of the club.

“The outpouring of grief is a testament to how many people’s lives were touched by those on board,” she said in a statement.

Vichai bought Leicester City in 2010 and became chairman the following February, pouring millions into the team and becoming a beloved figure in the club and the city — a feat rarely achieved by the Premier League’s foreign owners.

It was under Vichai’s ownership that Leicester crafted one of the biggest fairytales in English football history by winning the 2015/16 Premier League, having started the season as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title.

AFP

Ghana Bids Kofi Annan Farewell

Ghanaian soldiers cover the coffin of late Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Atta Annan with the Ghanaian flag on the tarmac of Kotoka International Airport in Accra on September 10, 2018.  CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP

 

A steady stream of mourners on Tuesday paid their respects to the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, as his body lay in state in the capital of his native Ghana.

The diplomat’s body was flown back from his home in Switzerland on Monday ahead of a state funeral and private burial in Accra on Thursday.

Nobel peace laureate Annan, who was the world body’s first leader from sub-Saharan Africa, died aged 80 on August 18 after a short illness.

His coffin, draped in Ghana’s red, green and gold flag, was guarded by senior military officers in ceremonial uniform at the Accra International Conference Centre.

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.

Fritz Kitcher, who spent his career working for the United Nations in Geneva in human rights, said he saw Annan rise through the ranks.

Now retired and back living in Ghana, he said Annan taught him “the benefit of humility, the benefit of honesty, the benefit of decisiveness, and diplomacy from the grassroots”.

His role at the UN’s first black African leader was “an honour for Ghana”, he said.

“It was marvellous in our eyes, it was one of these things that we can only dream… he lifted Africa and showed that we are also able to do great things,” Kitcher told AFP.

Most of those who queued to pay their respects wore black and red mourning clothes and passed under large posters of Annan to the sound of pulsating drums.

Cleaner Akwo Kwame Johnson, from neighbouring Ivory Coast, said he wanted to pay his last respects to “our great father”.

Whenever he saw Annan in the news, Johnson said he felt like he was watching a family member.

“He was a president to all the world,” he added

Pensioner Joyce Atiase said she was mourning the loss of a “great man”. “We all loved him. He played a major role for our country, he did his best,” she said.

Scores of world leaders past and present, as well as royalty, are expected in Accra for Annan’s funeral on Thursday.

A private burial service will then be held in the city’s military cemetery.

AFP

McCain’s Colleagues Pay Last Respect As Body Arrives In Washington

Former US Vice President Joe Biden wipes a tear while giving a tribute during memorial service at North Phoenix Baptist Church for US Senator John McCain on August 30, 2018, in Phoenix.
Matt YORK / POOL / AFP

 

Americans prepared Friday to honour the late national icon John McCain, whose remains were to lay in state in the US Capitol as part of a momentous sendoff for the warrior-turned-politician.

Hundreds of members of Congress, including his 99 Senate colleagues, are expected to attend the ceremony, a sombre Capitol Rotunda honour that has been accorded to just 30 Americans throughout the nation’s history.

McCain’s final visit to Washington, where he served in Congress for 35 years, will take place over two days.

It includes a memorial service Saturday during which former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — a Republican and Democrat who each ended McCain’s White House dreams — will deliver remarks.

The former aviator who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and returned home to launch a respected political career that saw him win the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, will be buried Sunday at the US Naval Academy in nearby Annapolis, Maryland.

On Friday just before 11:00 am (1500 GMT), his coffin will be escorted into the Rotunda and placed on a wooden platform known as a catafalque, first used in 1865 to bear the casket of assassinated president Abraham Lincoln.

“John McCain was a giant of our time — not just for the things he achieved, but for who he was and what he fought for all his life,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.

McCain “was a patriot and was in service to our country his entire life. We’re going to miss him,” tweeted Senator Bob Corker, who like McCain has been an occasional critic of President Donald Trump.

The funeral services for McCain, who for months planned his farewell before he died Saturday at age 81 after a yearlong battle with cancer, is seen by many as a thinly veiled rebuke of Trump, whose open disdain for McCain has alarmed many.

Their bitter feud took root during Trump’s 2016 campaign when he said McCain was not a war hero.

The billionaire leader was not invited to the funeral or burial, and he is not scheduled to appear Friday in the Rotunda, where McCain’s flag-draped coffin will be brought in by an honour guard.

Vice President Mike Pence will address the gathering instead, joining Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Advisor John Bolton in representing the administration.

McCain’s widow Cindy and seven children, along with his 106-year-old mother Roberta McCain, will be present, along with his staff, state governors, diplomats and other dignitaries.

‘Fairness, honesty, dignity’ 

McCain’s remains were flown by military aircraft to Washington on Thursday from Arizona, which he has represented in Congress since his first election in 1982.

Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden delivered a stirring eulogy of his friend at a memorial ceremony in Phoenix, describing Arizona’s adopted son as a “brother” and a “giant” whose belief in the soul of America helped give citizens their confidence and optimism.

Biden’s words appeared at times aimed at striking a stark contrast between his former Senate colleague’s integrity and conciliation and the state of political division that has been exacerbated under Trump.

Biden spoke of the values of “fairness, honesty, dignity, respect, giving hate no safe harbour, leaving no one behind and understanding that as Americans, we’re part of something much bigger than ourselves.”

Similar themes likely will be addressed when Pence, Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell deliver remarks in the Rotunda.

Members of the public will be welcome to pay their respects from 1:00 pm (1700 GMT).

AFP

World Mourns Loss Of Ex-UN Chief Kofi Annan

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan of Ghana speaks to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan has died on August 18, 2018 after a short illness at the age of 80, his foundation announced. 
STAN HONDA / AFP

 

There was an outpouring of condolences from leaders around the world on Saturday after the death of former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan.

Here are some of the tributes:

 United Nations 

Current UN chief Antonio Guterres voiced deep sadness at the news, describing his predecessor as “a guiding force for good”.

“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations,” he added.

“He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.

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

The UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he was grief-stricken.

“Kofi was humanity’s best example, the epitome, of human decency and grace. In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss becomes even more painful,” he said.

“He was a friend to thousands and a leader of millions.”

“There are some human beings who will seem irreplaceable to us, rare human beings. Kofi Annan is high among them. Goodbye my dear friend… goodbye Kofi.”

Ghana 

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo declared a week of mourning, saying the national flag will fly at half-mast at home and in the country’s diplomatic missions around the world in honour of “one of our greatest compatriots”.

“He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena,” the president said in a statement.

“He was an ardent believer in the capacity of the Ghanaian to chart his or her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity.”

 South Africa 

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said Annan was “an eminent and distinguished son of Africa”.

“Annan was a great friend of the people of South Africa who played an immeasurable role in shaping the global agenda in favour of the people of the developing south,” the ANC said in a statement.

“Amongst his many passions was silencing the guns on the African continent.”

Britain 

British Prime Minister Theresa May said her “thoughts and condolences are with his family”.

“A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into,” she said on Twitter.

Spain 

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that “today we lose a great humanist”.

“Annan… has left us but his legacy remains to keep working for peace, security and to strengthen the defence of human rights,” Sanchez tweeted.

 NATO 

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he was saddened to hear the news.

“His warmth should never be mistaken for weakness. Annan showed that one can be a great humanitarian and a strong leader at the same time,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.

“The UN and the world have lost one of their giants.”

EU 

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said he was “profoundly saddened” by Annan’s death.

“He was such a great source of inspiration for all of us and will be greatly missed!” he tweeted.

 The Elders 

The Elders organisation — a group of statesmen co-founded by Annan which speaks out on global issues — hailed the former UN chief as “a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private”.

“The world has lost an inspiring figure –- but one whose achievements will never be forgotten, and whose commitment to peace and justice will endure inspiring future generations,” deputy chair Gro Harlem Brundtland said in a statement.

AFP