Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell is dead


Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell (pictured) is dead.

The BBC has reported that Powell died aged 84 of Covid-19 complications.

His family announced his death on Facebook.

The Republican was a former top military officer who rose to become the first African-American secretary of state in 2000 under George W Bush, the BBC added.

"We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great American," a statement said.

"We want to thank the medical staff... for their caring treatment."

In 2001, the New York Times reported that Powell would visit South Africa, along with Mali in West Africa, and Kenya and Uganda.

Secretary Powell was reported as saying he was motivated to travel to Africa early on by his concern about the continent's Aids crisis. 

In 2013, SBSNews reported that Powell travelled 80km to Naivasha town by car from Nairobi.

He was meeting then Foreign minister Kalonzo Musyoka and Gen. Lazaro Sumbeiywo who were mediating IGAD-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending Sudan's 20-year-old civil war, SBSNews added.

“Before leaving Nairobi, Powell said Washington was ready "to invest all that we can" diplomatically and politically into the peace process and that it would launch a sweeping review of its sanctions-heavy Sudan policy should an agreement be reached,” the article said.

After meeting with then President Mwai Kibaki, Powell is reported to have said, "Sudan has suffered too long, too many people have died.”

Powell was one of America’s foremost Black figures for decades.

He was named to senior posts by three Republican presidents and reached the top of the US military as it was regaining its vigor after the trauma of the Vietnam War.

Powell, who was wounded in Vietnam, served as US national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989.

As a four-star Army general, he was chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George HW Bush during the 1991 Gulf War.

Powell will forever be associated with his controversial presentation on February 5, 2003, to the UN Security Council, making President George W. Bush’s case that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein constituted an imminent danger to the world because of its stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

Powell admitted later that the presentation was rife with inaccuracies and twisted intelligence provided by others in the Bush administration and represented “a blot” that will “always be a part of my record”.

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