Ghana mourns Annan, grandson of tribal chiefs to UN chief

Ghana mourns Annan, grandson of tribal chiefs to UN chief
FILE - In this Tuesday March 29, 2005 file photo United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan addresses a news conference at the United Nations. Annan, one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died. He was 80. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — The West African nation of Ghana is mourning Kofi Annan, the grandson of tribal chiefs who became the first black African to assume the world’s top diplomatic post.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has ordered flags to fly at half-mast for a week while trying to reassure the country’s 28 million people that Annan left the world without pain.

“I am comforted … that he died peacefully in his sleep,” the president says on Twitter after speaking with Annan’s wife. “Rest in perfect peace, Kofi. You have earned it.”

Annan was born in the Ashanti heartland two decades before the country became the first in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from colonial rule.

The son of a provincial governor, he became fluent in several languages and quickly entered the diplomatic world.