In Pictures: Jerry Rawlings buried with military honours




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Former Ghanaian leader Jerry John Rawlings was buried with full military honours Wednesday after a state funeral attended by representatives of world leaders.

Rawlings, who died in November aged 73, held for two decades in Ghana, first as military ruler and later as elected president.

A traditional group performs the final funeral rites of former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings in Accra, Ghana, January 27, 2021. – Former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings died in November 2020 at the age of 73 and funeral was initially scheduled for December 23, 2020 but was postponed, due to what the called “unforeseen circumstances”.

Military officials carry the casket of the former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, in Accra, Ghana, January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

Military officers parade with the casket of former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

He was buried in a coffin draped in Ghana’s national colours of red, yellow, green and black, and an officer’s cap was placed at the head of the closed coffin with a glittering gold-plated sword.

Rawlings, a former air force pilot, was given a guard of honour at Independence Square — a symbol of Ghana’s victory over colonial Britain — in the ’s capital Accra.

(FLTR) Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana, George Weah, President of Liberia, Rebeca Akufo Addo, First Lady of Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, are seen at the final funeral rites of Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

The casket of former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings is seen during final funeral rites in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, wife of the former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, is seen inside a car at the final funeral rite in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

Traditional leaders arrive at the final funeral rites of the former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021.

A photograph of the late former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings displayed during the laying in state at the Accra International Conference center, on January 25, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)
Hundreds of Ghanaians earlier this week paid their final respects as coffin laid in state during two days of national mourning under strict protocols.

“You took pride in your fatherly duties… you’re passionate and open-hearted,” said his widow Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings in a tribute.

“Your gift of sharing knew no bounds. You never hesitated to help in the passing of laws to protect the vulnerable in . Jerry, I know that God created us for each other. You did your best and I played my part,” she said, breaking down in tears as her Princess Amina read out her tribute.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo described Rawlings as a “charismatic and fearless leader.”

Papa J, as Rawlings was known, was buried at a military cemetery in Accra after a three-hour ceremony of tributes, prayers, cultural displays and songs.

Military officials march close to former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings’ casket during the final Funeral Rites in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

The casket of Ghana’s former President, Jerry John Rawlings, is seen at the final funeral rites in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

Military officers parade with the casket of former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings (C), the former First Lady of Ghana, and her at the final funeral rites of former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, in Accra, Ghana on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

A nurse directs a woman to a hand washing station during the final funeral rites of former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)
Behind the scenes, Rawlings’ , traditional chiefs and political figures have been at odds over the legacy of the former air force flight lieutenant, who twice overthrew governments but was widely seen by the poor as their champion.

Traditional leaders arrive at the final funeral rites of the former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)

Catholic priests pray over the casket of the former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, in Accra, Ghana, on January 27, 2021.

Military officials are seen at the lay in state of the late former Ghana President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings at the Accra International Conference center, on January 25, 2021. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP)
Rawlings got his first taste of in 1979 when he banded together with other junior officers frustrated over widespread to take control.

He quickly handed the reins to an elected president, but was soon back at the top following another coup on December 31, 1981.

The son of a Scottish father and Ghanaian mother, he became a national icon as he headed Ghana for 20 years until 2001, being voted in as president at the ballot box in 1992 and ushering in democracy.