Former President Rawlings’ Death Sparks Mixed Reactions Across Ghana

ACCRA— While some are saddened by the death of former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings, who died Thursday at age 73 in Accra, others still criticize him, citing human rights violations during his reign.

After his death, supporters cried outside his residence in Accra.

Senior officials from his party visited the family and consoled them.

Voice Of America reports that while being seen as a champion of the poor and a fighter against corruption, human rights activists have accused him of imprisoning and killing opponents.

J.J Rawlings gets off the dais to speak with a handicapped gentleman at the inauguration of the creation of the Upper-West Region September 28, 1987.

Rawlings was part of the Free Africa Movement, an underground movement of military officers who wanted to unify Africa through a series of coups.

Before being elected, Rawlings orchestrated two coups d’état, in 1979 and 1981, claiming that civilian rule was weak and the country’s economy was deteriorating.

Rawlings later surprised critics by then transitioning Ghana to democratic elections.

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