Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah [File: Noufal Ibrahim/EPA-EFE]

AU Chair Offers Condolences over Passing of Kuwait’s Emir

The African Union chair has expressed his condolences over the death of Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah.

The ruling emir passed away on Saturday at age of 86, kuwaiti officials said. They, however, gave no cause of death.

The nation declared a 40-day official mourning period and a three-day closure of government departments.

Sheikh Nawaf was sworn in Sept 2020 after the death of his half-brother Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al jabar al-Sabah at the age of 91 in the United States.

Following his death on Saturday, African Union chairperson Faki Mahamat and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed their condolences on X.

“Our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, the People and the Government of the State of Kuwait following the passing of the Emir,” chairperson Mahamat said.

Prime Minister Abiy also extended his “condolences to the royal family, the people and Government of the State of Kuwait “on the sad news of the passing of His Highness”.

Sheikh Nawaf, who was defense minister when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, was laid to rest in a low-key funeral ceremony on Sunday.

Crown Prince and Sheikh Nawaf’s half-brother Sheikh Meshaal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, 83, was already named the new ruling emir.