First UN chief from Africa Boutros-Ghali dies at 93

  • Reuters, United Nations
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2016 01:07 IST
People who visited the room of the late former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali leave the hospital where he died in Cairo. (REUTERS)

Former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali, whose term was marked by war in the former Yugoslavia and famine and genocide in Africa, has died, the president of the Security Council said on Tuesday. He was 93.

The 15-member Security Council observed a minute’s silence after the death was announced by Venezuelan UN Ambassador Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno, head of the Security Council for February. No details were given.

An Egyptian, Boutros-Ghali served as UN chief from 1992 to 1996. As the United Nations’ first secretary-general from Africa, Boutros-Ghali associated himself with the famine in Somalia and organized the first massive UN relief operation in the Horn of Africa nation.

But success eluded him there and elsewhere as the United Nations tottered in an increasingly disorderly post-communist world, with the world body and the big Security Council powers underestimating the deep animosity behind many conflicts. He had a reputation for being prickly, and US displeasure with him was the driving force in his departure.

Earlier, Boutros-Ghali had worked for Egyptian presidents Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. He accompanied Sadat on the historic 1977 visit to Jerusalem and played a prominent role in the subsequent Camp David accords on the Middle East.

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