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Kofi Annan struggled to escape the curse of history

GENEVA (Reuters) – Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who died on Saturday, will be remembered as a dedicated humanitarian whose career was tarnished by ugly conflicts that spun out of control. Annan was unable to bring peace to Syria and bring to rest the failures of diplomacy in Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, Cyprus, Somalia and Iraq, which are likely to drown out the plaudits for his softly spoken mediation and efforts to eradicate poverty and AIDS that won him the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. Annan was brought up in an ethnically divided culture in his native Ghana, but one where dialogue was prized and outright conflict rare. It was a time of optimism and confidence as Ghana headed for independence from Britain. “He’s driven by the idea of ‘don’t think no’, always looking for the best outcome,” Fred Eckhard, Annan’s spokesman during his time...

 

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