August 20, 2018
The First Black African to head the United Nations, Kofi Annan died Saturday, 18th August, after a short illness in Bern, Switzerland, the Kofi Anan Foundation said in a statement.
The former UN chief played a key role in ending the eleven year brutal civil war by visiting Sierra Leone in 1999 and 2000 for the deployment of an International Peace Keeping Mission.
The former UN Secretary General contributed immensely to the achievement and consolidation of peace in Sierra Leone after an alarming and brutal killing by rebel forces.
According to the UN Department of Public Information, on 27th September 1999, Kofi Annan recommended to the Security Council to establish a new “robust” United Nations peacekeeping force for Sierra Leone to help implement the Lome peace agreement.
Mr. Annan had noted that the proposed 6,000-strong force, to be called the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), would help the government disarm and demobilise an estimated 45,000 ex-combatants — many of them children — and create the confidence needed for a smooth implementation of the peace process.
The Peace Keeping Force replaced the UN observer mission (UNOMSIL).
Kofi Anan had stated that urgent steps must be taken to restore peace and maintain confidence in Sierra Leone.
“One is the immediate return to Freetown of Corporal Foday Sankoh, leader of the rebel Revolutionary United Front, who according to the peace agreement should assume important functions in the government of Sierra Leone.”
The UN Public Information Department had quoted Mr. Annan stressing that the commitment of Mr. Sankoh and his senior associates, and of Johnny Paul Koroma, leader of the rebel Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, to the agreement was essential for its effective implementation.
“It was also important for the international community to contribute to the trust fund established by the World Bank to support the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants. More than the $19 million contributed so far will be needed,” he said.
Since retiring from the UN, Mr. Annan became a global voice of peace and peacemaker. He helped broker peace in Kenya after fractious post-election ethnic killings in 2008, and was the special envoy to Syria to find solution to that conflict which has festered for almost a decade.
Annan, 80, is survived by wife Nana, and three children Kojo, Ama and Nina.