Former Ghana president Jerry Rawlings dies at 73

By: Denis Ka yongo. Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has died at the age of 73. He led two coups, first in 1979, before twice being elected president in multi-party polls

Former Ghana president Jerry Rawlings dies at 73

He was seen as a champion of the poor, but came to be criticised for alleged human rights abuses. A week of national mourning has been announced in Ghana. Reports from Ghana say that the former president died in hospital in the capital, Accra, after a short illness.

The son of a Scottish farmer and a Ghanaian mother, Rawlings entered the Ghana Air Force, graduating in 1969. A decade later, as a senior officer in the air force, he overthrew a military government, handing over power to a civilian leader.

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Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo announced seven days of national mourning. “A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for this loss,” he said in a statement. Liberian President George Weah said “Ghana, Liberia and Africa will miss a great leader”.

“Liberia remembers his immense contribution to the attainment and sustainment of peace during our dark days of our own history,” he added in a tweet.