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Burkina Faso Opens Trial On 1987 Assassination Of Revolutionary Leader, Sankara

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After 34 years of assassination of the nation’s revered revolutionary chief, Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso has commenced the prosecution of a former President Blaise Compaore and 13 others concerned, Al-Jazeera reviews.

Compaore and 13 others are dealing with an array of fees within the dying of Sankara, described by his followers because the African Che Guevara.



The killing of Sankara, an icon of pan-Africanism, has for years solid a darkish shadow over the Sahel state.

Sankara and 12 others have been riddled with bullets by a success squad in October 1987 throughout a putsch that introduced his pal and comrade-in-arms Compaore to energy.

Al-Jazeera has reported that Compaore, the chief accused, said by means of his legal professionals final week that he would boycott the trial.

The previous West African nation’s chief will probably be tried in absentia by the army court docket within the capital, Ouagadougou.

Compaore dominated the nation for the following 27 years earlier than being deposed by a preferred rebellion and fleeing to neighbouring Ivory Coast, which granted him citizenship.

He has all the time denied the allegations leveled in opposition to him that he orchestrated the Sankara’s homicide.

He and his former right-hand man, Basic Gilbert Diendere, who as soon as led the elite Presidential Safety Regiment, face fees of complicity in homicide, harming state safety and complicity within the concealment of corpses.

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On Monday, after a number of hours, proceedings have been adjourned till October 25 after defence legal professionals stated they have been confronted with 20,000 paperwork and had had little time to organize their case.

They requested a one-month postponement however have been granted a keep of two weeks by choose Urbain Meda.

Days earlier than the trial opened on Monday, his legal professionals introduced he wouldn’t be attending a “political trial” flawed by irregularities, and insisted he loved immunity as a former head of state.

Diendere, 61, is already serving a 20-year sentence for masterminding a plot in 2015 in opposition to the transitional authorities that adopted Compaore’s elimination.

One other distinguished determine among the many accused is Hyacinthe Kafando, a former chief warrant officer in Compaore’s presidential guard, who’s accused of main the hit squad. He’s on the run.

A younger military captain and Marxist-Leninist, Sankara got here to energy in a coup in 1983 aged simply 33.

He modified the nation’s title from Higher Volta, a legacy of the French colonial period, to Burkina Faso, which suggests “the land of trustworthy males.”

He lobbied with a socialist agenda of nationalisation and prohibited feminine genital mutilation, polygamy and compelled marriages.

Like Ghana’s former chief Jerry Rawlings, he grew to become an idol in left-wing circles in Africa, applauded for his radical insurance policies and defiance of the massive powers.

Burkina Faso has lengthy been burdened by silence over the assassination – throughout Compaore’s very long time in workplace, the topic was taboo – and lots of are indignant that the killers have gone unpunished.

“The trial will mark the tip to all of the mendacity – we’ll get a type of reality. However the trial will be unable to revive our dream,” Halouna Traore, a comrade of Sankara and survivor of the putsch, stated in a TV interview.

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