Accra, Ghana (PANA) - The three-day state funeral for Ghana’s late President John Evans Atta Mills began on Wednesday with the body being moved from the mortuary of the 37 Military Hospital in the capital city of Accra, where he died 24 July.
The casket containing his mortal remains was draped in the national colours and carried by pallbearers into a hearse decorated with flowers.
Crowds lined the streets as the funeral cortege moved towards his house, where his family is expected to perform customary rites before the body is driven to the State House where it will lie in state until Friday morning, when it will be moved to the Independence Square for burial service.
He will be buried at a park next to the Independence Square.
President John Dramani Mahama will lead the West African nation to mourn Mills.
The President will lead top government officials to file past the body before MPs, leaders of political parties, chiefs and chief executives of corporate bodies also file past.
There will be vigils at the State House on Wednesday and Thursday.
Dozens of foreign dignitaries, including 15 heads of state, are expected.
They include African Union Chairman Yayi Boni of Benin, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Chairman Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria's President Goodluck Johnathan.
The Presidents of Togo, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Tanzania, Senegal, Ethiopia, Niger and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are also expected to attend the funeral on Friday.
The streets, trees and public buildings have been draped in black and red as a sign of mourning for the late President.
Mills, who died at 68, became President of Ghana on 7 January 2009 after winning a closely-fought election against the main opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.
-0- PANA MA/SEG 8Aug2012