An unusual coup d'etat
December 31, 2011 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Today is the 30th anniversary of Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawling's coup d'etat catapulting him into the crowded ranks of military dictators in Africa. Yet, Ghana chooses to celebrate this date and Rawlings' speech on this historic occasion has been shared and published, his words hearkened to (albeit) and his global standing only embellished by his [role]* as the African Union's envoy to Somalia. What manner of military dictatorship was this and what changes did the coup accomplish in democratic Ghana, today considered the fastest growing and stable Sub Saharan economy expected to be elevated to middle income status in the near future?

* The BBC describes him as the AU's representative on Somalia but the AMISOM website has missing bits around this fact.
posted by infini (7 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Dude staged three coup d'etats, two succeeded, eventually stepped down as head of the government, ran for President, won twice and then when he tried to appoint a successor, the populace voted 'no'.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:01 AM on December 31, 2011

Fascinating, and the very success of the coup makes it a dangerous precedent. I wonder who in the USA is looking and thinking we need a strongman to put things to right.
posted by happyroach at 10:08 AM on December 31, 2011

I recall learning about this in high shool (model UN, dude) and I'm not sure if this is true, but didn't he personally fly missions, or buzz the city in his jet fighter in a victory celebration or something like that?
posted by vrakatar at 11:46 AM on December 31, 2011

It only works if you share a name with a sporting goods manufacturer. Which is why "Cast Away's" Wilson now rules an entire chain of islands.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:26 PM on December 31, 2011

thanks for this, infini.
it will make for some very interesting reading.

i'm curious to see where countries like Ghana and Kenya will be heading in the next couple of decades.
posted by bitteroldman at 10:22 AM on January 1, 2012

Communication technology is accelerating the rate of speed of change (has done so globally and now, as undersea cables and increasing mobile bandwidth imply, sub sahara) - I don't think I can see as far as a couple of decades but I'm aiming to watch what happens over the next 3 to 5 years from ground level.
posted by infini at 10:54 AM on January 1, 2012

@vrakatar: Twenty years ago I was in Accra, Ghana on Independence Day (or Revolution Day - I forget). J.J. Rawlings was in a fighter doing tricks above the city center to the great amusement of his citizens.
posted by mwalimu at 11:35 AM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

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