Image courtesy AFP / Ruth McDowall

World leaders joined the family of Kofi Annan on Thursday, as the former United Nations secretary general’s state funeral took place in Ghana.

It was learned that most dignitaries, dressed in black mourning clothes, gathered at the Accra International Conference Centre, to mark the end of three days of national mourning for the respected diplomat.

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Current UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, led mourners from the diplomatic corps.

It as also gathered that representatives of the African Union, the West African bloc ECOWAS, and presidents from across Africa and beyond were at the funeral.

Royalty included Princess Beatrix, the former queen of the Netherlands, and her daughter-in-law Princess Mabel, who were close friends of Annan.

Annan was UN boss from 1997 to 2006 and was the first from sub-Saharan Africa to do so. He died on 18 August aged 80 at his home in Switzerland after a short illness.

The funeral will be followed by a private burial at the capital’s military ceremony and a 17-gun salute.