Guterres mourns Colin Powell

Colin Powell

Colin Powell

By Cecilia Ologunagba/New York

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Monday mourned former Secretary of State, Colin Powell after he died from COVID-19 complications.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General, said at a news conference at UN headquarters in New York that Guterres was saddened by Powell’s death.

“I can tell you that the secretary-general is saddened by the passing of Colin Powell, the former U.S. Secretary of State.

“Powell, who was the first African-American Secretary of State, had a distinguished career, both in defence and foreign policy.

“The secretary-general extends his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, the Government and the people of the United States,” Dujarric quoted Guterres as saying.

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Powell, the trail-blazing son of the South Bronx who rose to the highest ranks of the U.S. military, died of complications from COVID-19 in spite of being fully vaccinated.

He was 84, his family announced on Monday.

Powell, who served as the first black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also became the first black secretary of state.

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” Powell’s family said in a post on Facebook.

Powell became, perhaps, the most recognisable and popular military figure in the country during his leadership of the military during the first Gulf War.

He served as secretary of state under President George W Bush when he led the checkered diplomatic effort to confront Iraq’s Saddam Hussein with claims that he was developing weapons of mass destruction