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Ex Burkinabé Leader, Blaise Campaore, Sentenced to Life Over the 1987 Killing of Thomas Sankara

The six months trial which was somewhat marred by a coup in January - brings closure on a 34 year run trying to bring the pan Africanist’s murderers to justice.

  • The sentencing of Campaore brings closure to a six month trial that was marred by coup.
  • On October 15, 1987, Sankara and twelve other colleagues were gun down by a hit squad at a meeting.
  • Ex Burkinabé leader, Blaise Campaore was sentenced to life imprisonment last Wednesday for his involvement in the 1987 Putsch and the killing of Thomas Sankara.
  • Gilbert Diendéré and Hyacinthe Kafando, leader of the 1987 Putsch and then leader of Campaore’s guards respectively were also sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ex Burkinabé leader Blaise Campaore was on last Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a military tribunal for his involvement in the 1987 killing of revolutionary, Thomas Sankara.

Early last year, Theaccratimes.com published a story where  a tribunal in Burkina Faso opened a trial against the presumed killers of Thomas Sankara. Testimonies also revealed that France was involved in the putsch in 1987, but it wasn’t clear if France was also complicit in the murder.

The tribunal further decided to open a trial against Blaise Compaoré, the ex leader was accused of having organized the putsch against Thomas Sankara and his killing in in 1987.

The six months trial which was somewhat marred by a coup in January – brings closure on a 34 year run trying to bring the pan Africanist’s murderers to justice.

Campaore, who is seeking exile in Ivory Coast, was tried in absentia on counts of attacking state security, concealing a corpse and complicity in the murder of a Thomas Sankara and his twelve other colleagues.

Two other main suspects were also handed life imprisonment sentences. They are Gilbert Diendéré, one of the leaders of the 1987 putsch and leader of the 2015 coup, as well as Hyacinthe Kafando, leader of Compaoré’s guards at the time.

Even after Sankara’s death 35 years ago, Sankara was wildly popular across West Africa for his sweeping socialist reforms and speeches. Today, he is still known by some as the “African Che Guevara”, referring to the Marxist revolutionary and one of the icons of the Cuban Revolution.

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