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Kofi Annan, Former UN Chief and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Has Died

Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, has died aged 80 after a short illness, according to an announcement by his family and foundation.

Annan, who also won the Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work, was the first black African to lead the UN, according to the BBC

Tributes have been pouring in from across the world, from global leaders and those who knew him.

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"It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness," a statement read. 

"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." 

After stepping down from the UN, it adds, Annan continued to work "tirelessly" for peace, as chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders — the group founded by Nelson Mandela. 

"He was an inspiration to young and old alike," it added. 

"Kofi Annan was a son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa," it said adding that he was "particularly committed" to African development and "deeply engaged" in many initiates — including chairing the Africa Progress Panel and his early leadership of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). 

"Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy," it said. "He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, and warmth, and brilliance in all he did. He will be greatly missed by so many around the world, as well as his staff at the Foundation, and his many former colleages in the United Nations system." 

The foundation's statement said: "He will remain in our hearts forever." 

His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo, and Nina were "by his side during his last days."