Tuesday, October 4, 2022
African Affairs

Thomas Sankara: Court Sentences Ex-Burkina Faso President Compaore to Life Imprisonment

Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso's first president, who was killed by former President Blaise Compaoré

Long at last, justice has been served for the family Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso’s first president, as former President Blaise Compaoré is sentenced to life in jail for his murder by a Burkinabe court.

Mr Sankara was slain on October 15, 1987, during a coup headed by his friend and comrade-in-arms, Mr Compaoré.

The long-awaited verdict on Wednesday brought to a close a six-month trial regarding his murder.

Mr Compaoré, who was on trial with 13 others in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, was given a 30-year term by military prosecutors.

According to Aljazeera, two other significant suspects were also sentenced to life in prison. Gilbert Diendéré, one of the leaders of the 1987 coup and the leader of the 2015 coup, and Hyacinthe Kafando, the leader of Mr Compaoré’s guards at the time, are the two men in question.

Mr Compaoré, who was unseated in a 2014 uprising, fled to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire where he was given citizenship. He was tried in absentia, like Mr Kafando but unlike Mr Diendéré who is in custody.

Mr Sankara, a pan-Africanist leader who had taken power in 1983, was killed at 37 along with 12 other government officials.

Mr Compaoré became his successor, ruling until his 2014 ouster.

 

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