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News > World

Burkina's Ex-President Compaore Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

  • Burkina Faso's former president Blaise Compaore.

    Burkina Faso's former president Blaise Compaore. | Photo: Twitter/ @AfricaFactsZone

Published 6 April 2022

Blaise Campaore ordered the assassination of Thomas Sankara, a revolutionary who is remembered by his people as the African "Che Guevara."

On Wednesday, Burkina Faso's former president Blaise Compaore was sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of his predecessor Thomas Sankara in 1987.


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A military tribunal also sentenced General Gilbert Diendere and Hyacinthe Kafando to life imprisonment. Compaore, who lives in exile in Cote d'Ivoire after being toppled by public protests in 2014, and Kafando, who has been on the run since 2016, were tried in absentia.

Eight other accused were sentenced to terms ranging from three to 20 years in prison. Three defendants were acquitted. They were prosecuted for various offences, mainly attack against state security, assassination and concealment of corpses.

Thomas Sankara seized power in Burkina Faso following a military coup on August 4, 1983, as part of a revolution that changed the name of his country from Haute Volta to Burkina Faso.

The tweet reads, "On the day of the trial verdict, Ditanye stands in front of the building where Thomas Sankara was murdered. Blaise Compaore (exiled in Abidjan), Hyacinthe Kafando, and Gilbert Diendere were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison."

Besides being an ideologue of pan-Africanism, Sankara stood out as a revolutionary under the inspiration of Cuban guerrillas such as Fidel Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

The investigation into his murder remained blocked for three decades. After Camaore left power in 2014, however, a transitional government authorized the exhumation of Sankara's body for DNA testing.

Although the tests did not yield conclusive results, they were enough to confirm that the corpse received several shots, which was consistent with the testimony of witnesses.

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