1st black African to become UN secretary-general dies at 80

Kofi Annan, the first black African to become UN secretary-general, has died aged 80 in Switzerland, his aides say.

He “passed away peacefully on Saturday after a short illness”, the foundation named after him said on Saturday.

Mr Annan served two terms as UN chief from 1997 to 2006, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work for his efforts.

He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

In a statement announcing his death,¬†the Kofi Annan Foundation described him as a “global statesman¬†and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world”.

The diplomat, who was originally from Ghana, had been living in Geneva for several years before his death.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 2001 for helping to revitalise the international body, during a period that coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.