Burkina Faso Ex-President Gets Life Sentence for Thomas Sankara Murder

A military court in Burkina Faso on Wednesday handed down a life prison term to former President Blaise Compaore over the 1987 assassination of foremost revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara.

Applause erupted in the courtroom as the long-awaited verdict was read out, bringing the curtain down on a case that has afflicted the impoverished and volatile state for 34 years.

Compaore, who lived in exile in Ivory Coast after being toppled by public protests in 2014, and Kafando, who had been on the run since 2016, were tried in absentia.

Blaise Compaore

The court also issued life terms to Hyacinthe Kafando, an officer suspected of having led the hit squad, and General Gilbert Diendere, an army commander at the time of the assassination, which coincided with a coup that brought Compaore to power.

Discussing the leftwing icon’s death was taboo throughout the 27-year reign of Compaore, Sankara’s comrade-in-arms.

The court in the capital Ouagadougou found Compaore, Kafando and Diendere all guilty of harming state security.

Net/Olaolu Fawole


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