Kofi Annan to receive state burial in Ghana on Sept 13

A relative sits in front of a poster depicting the late Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, at Annan's family home in Bompata town in Kumasi, Ghana August 19, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 26 August 2018
0

Kofi Annan to receive state burial in Ghana on Sept 13

  • Current UN chief Antonio Guterres described his predecessor as “a guiding force for good
  • Annan’s death was met with an outpouring of tributes from world leaders

ACCRA: Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan will receive a state funeral and burial in Ghana on September 13, the Ghanaian president said on Friday, calling it “a major event for our country.”
The announcement was made by President Nana Akufo-Addo following a meeting with Annan’s family in the capital Accra.
Annan, a Ghanaian national and Nobel peace laureate, died on August 8 at the age of 80 after a short illness.
“Kofi Annan was one of the most illustrious people of this generation. He was like an elderly brother,” Akufo-Addo said.
“It’s going to be a major event for our country... I expect many leaders to be present,” he said, adding that Annan will be buried in Accra’s new military cemetery.
Born in Kumasi, the capital city of Ghana’s Ashanti region, Annan devoted four decades of his working life to the UN and was the first chief from sub-Saharan Africa.
A career diplomat, he projected quiet charisma and was widely credited for raising the world body’s profile in global politics during his two terms as head of the UN from 1997 to 2006.
Following Annan’s death in Switzerland, where he lived not far from the UN European headquarters in Geneva, Akufo-Addo announced a week of mourning for “one of our greatest compatriots.”
Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, as the world was reeling from the September 11 attacks in the United States, jointly with the UN “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.”
Another Nobel laureate, retired South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, described Annan as “an outstanding human being who represented our continent and the world with enormous graciousness, integrity and distinction.”

The first chief to rise from within the organization’s ranks, Annan left the post as one of the most popular UN leaders ever, and was considered a “diplomatic rock star” in international diplomatic circles.
After ending his second term as chief, he kept up his diplomatic work, taking high-profile mediation roles in Kenya and in Syria, and more recently leading an advisory commission in Myanmar on the crisis in Rakhine state.
He enjoyed some success in ending post-election turmoil in Kenya in 2007, and the two main players in that crisis, former president Mwai Kibaki and his opposition rival Raila Odinga celebrated his efforts this week.
Annan’s death was met with an outpouring of tributes from world leaders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed his “wisdom and courage,” while German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrated the “exceptional statesman in the service of the global community.”
Former US president Barack Obama said Annan “embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others.”
Current UN chief Antonio Guterres described his predecessor as “a guiding force for good.” “In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations,” he said.
The UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein described him as a “friend to thousands and a leader of millions.”
“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.”


Rights group slams ‘inhuman’ treatment of migrants in Greece

Updated 24 min 38 sec ago
0

Rights group slams ‘inhuman’ treatment of migrants in Greece

  • “Foreign nationals deprived of their liberty by the Greek authorities must be treated humanely and with dignity,” the Council’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture said
  • “Conditions of detention were found to be grossly sub-standard in some of the police and border guard stations visited,” they said

STRASBOURG: The Council of Europe rights body Tuesday condemned the “inhuman and degrading treatment” of migrants and asylum seekers held in Greece, adding it had credible allegations of abuse by police.
“Foreign nationals deprived of their liberty by the Greek authorities must be treated humanely and with dignity,” the Council’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) said.
The committee published the report after visiting the country — which has been at the frontline of the migration crisis in Europe — over ten days in April 2018.
“Conditions of detention were found to be grossly sub-standard in some of the police and border guard stations visited,” it said.
At one center in the Evros region in the northeast on the Turkish border, families, children, pregnant women and single men were held together for weeks and sometimes months in a center that offered just one square meter of living space per person.
It said such conditions “can easily be considered as amounting to inhuman and degrading treatment.”
The committee also said it received “credible allegations of police ill-treatment (slaps, punches, kicks, baton blows and verbal abuse) from foreign nationals held” in the Evros region and at a camp on the island of Lesbos.
Other migrants claimed to have been driven back to Turkey by border guards.
The number of migrants arriving in Greece peaked in 2015, when more than a million people, most of them Syrian refugees, crossed over from Turkey, mainly by boat.
A deal struck between the European Union and Ankara in 2016 helped stem the flow.
However, the number of people attempting to cross the river Evros into Greece has increased since naval patrols intensified in the Aegean Sea in 2016.
The CPT recommended that Greek authorities significantly increase the number of centers for unaccompanied minors.
In 2017 it had denounced the conditions of thousands of migrants who were held in cramped cells lacking food and drinking water as unacceptable.
In a response included in the report, Greek authorities said that investigations into unofficial removals and ill-treatment by officers had found “no disciplinary liability” by the police.
They blamed the poor conditions of detention in the Evros region on “increased migratory pressure” at the time of the CPT’s visit.