An air ambulance carrying Sierra Leone’s sick former junta leader, Captain Valentine Strasser, has landed in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.

The 51-year-old suffers from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) affecting his left leg and is undergoing a surgery to re-establish blood supply to his leg. His medical expenses are being paid for by the Sierra Leone government.

Captain Strasser was the world’s youngest head of state in 1992 when he seized power in Sierra Leone at the age of 25. He was the leader of a group of six junior officers who overthrew president Joseph Saidu Momoh in a military coup. They established a military junta called the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC).

In January 1996, after nearly four years in power, Strasser was ousted in a second military coup by his deputy, Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio, the current president of Sierra Leone.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels located outside the heart and brain. They are most often caused by a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. Although the condition can have serious consequences, physical activity can substantially improve symptoms. Men are slightly more likely than women to develop PAD.

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