Kofi Annan’s body returns home to Ghana before funeral

September 10, 2018
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Ghanaian soldiers carry the coffin of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, wrapped in the flag of Ghana, to a hearse upon arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana Monday, Sept 10, 2018. The body of Annan, who died in August in Switzerland at age 80, received a hero's welcome upon landing at the airport ahead of Thursday's state funeral. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — The body of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has received a hero’s welcome upon landing at Kotoka International Airport in Ghana’s capital.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was with Annan’s widow and family members Monday as uniformed soldiers brought Annan’s coffin down from the aircraft amid solemn music played by a detachment of Ghana’s armed forces. Prayers followed.

To signify Annan’s return home, the U.N. flag covering the coffin was replaced by a Ghanaian one.

Annan will lie at the Accra International Conference Center, where people can pay their respects in the days before Thursday’s state funeral.

Annan died in August in Switzerland at age 80.

The grandson of tribal chiefs, he was the first black African to work as U.N. secretary-general, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.