Information on the current status of the June Fourth Movement (JFM), and in what areas it is active, subjected to repressive government measures, harassment and detention [GHA19158.E]

According to a journalist with the New African in London, the current president of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, exploited the revolutionary image of the June Fourth Movement (JFM) to launch his second coming into Ghanaian politics in December 1981 (5 Dec. 1994). The JFM began as a Marxist revolutionary organization, but it eventually split into two factions, the first consisting of socialist ideologues, who objected to any contacts with the West and its financial institutions (5 Dec. 1994). The second wing contained moderates, who believed that Ghana's political and economic development warrants close ties to the West and to financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (ibid.). Most members of the movement eventually joined Rawlings in his political comeback, while those who strongly disagreed with the ideological change went into exile (ibid.).

The journalist stated that the JFM became closely linked with Rawlings' National Democratic Congress (NDC) party. In its current status as a revolutionary non-governmental organization, the JFM has devoted itself to reinforcing the objectives of the 4 June 1979 Rawlings coup d'état or "revolution" (ibid.). The source is unaware of information pertaining to an anti-Rawlings JFM faction in Ghana, which is subjected to repressive government measures. The above information concerning the history and current status of the JFM was corroborated in telephone interviews on 6 December 1994 by an editor with the Washington-based Ghana Drum and a doctoral student in refugee affairs at York University's Centre for Refugee Studies in Toronto.

The York University doctoral student agreed with the information provided by the Ghana Drum editor concerning the status of the JFM (6 Dec. 1994). The source added that the JFM members who supported Rawlings were rewarded with lucrative government appointments. Thus, unless a former JFM member was intolerably anti-Rawlings, such as those in exile, JFM membership is currently an advantage in NDC circles in Ghana. The source stated that the JFM operates a secretariat in Accra and it has been involved in mobilizing people for the "revolution," community service, demonstrations and the annual celebration of the June Fourth Day (ibid.). According to the source, the budget allocation for the annual event and the activities for its commemoration virtually give it the status of a national event in communities across Ghana. To the knowledge of the source, it is likely that one can contact the JFM through the NDC headquarters in Accra (ibid.).

According to the doctoral student, the organization presently consists of Rawlings supporters (ibid.). The members need Rawlings and the NDC to survive, and as a result are willing to do anything the administration requires of them (ibid.). According to the source, the Rawlings administration has used the JFM secretariat to carry out the abuses generally attributed to the regime. The organization portrays itself as an NGO, but in the opinion of the doctoral student it is a revolutionary NGO, reminiscent of the revolutionary organizations of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) (ibid.). In order not to be associated with the activities of the JFM, the NDC administration has astutely kept its distance from the organization (ibid.). Consequently, it is difficult to trace alleged abuses directly to the NDC government (ibid.).

For basic information on the JFM, please refer to the attachments. Also, for general information on the Ghanaian government's relationship with its critics, and the human rights situation in the country, please refer to Response to Information Request GHA18907.E of 16 November 1994. This document is currently available at your Regional Documentation Centre.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Doctoral student specializing in refugee affairs, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Toronto. 6 December 1994. Telephone interview.

Editor with Ghana Drum, Washington, DC. 6 December 1994. Telephone interview.

Journalist with the New African, London. 5 December 1994. Telephone interview.


Inter Press Service. 13 January 1992. David Ampofo. "Ghana: Why the Country Switched to Free Market Policies." (NEXIS)

Yeebo, Zaya. 1992. Ghana: The Struggle for Popular Power Rawlings: Saviour or Demagogue. London: New Beacon Books, pp. 25-63.