Murder trial of former President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara begins.
Thomas Sankara died in 1987. He ruled Burkina Faso only four years when his life was taken. It is alleged that his own very good friend, Blaise Compaore conspired with others to execute him. Compaore has been in exile in Ivory Coast since.
Compaore who later became President after the brutal assassination of Thomas Sankara, who ruled for nearly three decades is the main defendant alongside 13 others. His lawyers announced Compaore will boycott proceedings as he’s currently in neighbouring Ivory Coast.
The 14 people will be tried today, October 11, 2021at Burkina Faso Military Court in Ouagadougou for the murder of the country’s revolutionary leader and 12 members of his entourage. It has been 34years since the assassination of the former leader.
Thomas Sankara was only 37years when he was shot by and killed by soldiers during a coup on October 15, 1987. His closest friend, Blaise took power his gruesome murder.
Speaking to BBC, his wife says she has been waiting for this for a long time. According her, at least he would be able to finally rest in peace and she’s hoping that justice will finally be served. She believes her family, including the families of those whose lives were taken deserve justice.
“We’ve waited a long time, all along the 27 years of Blaise Compaore’s regime. Under his rule we couldn’t even dream of the possibility of a trial” Paul Sankara, brother of Thomas Sankara also told BBC.
Many people of Burkina Faso have described Thomas Sankara as a great Pan-African, who exhibited patriotism.
“Thomas Sankara was a patiot. He loved his people. He loved his country. He loved Africa. He gave his life for us. It was under his rule that the country was renamed from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso” Secretary General of the Thomas Sankara Memorial Committee, Luc Damiba said.
“He remains my president. What he did for the population encourage us young people to do as he did” a student at Thomas Sankara University in Ouagadougou told BBC
Thomas Sankara is said to have lived a very simple life. He banned the use of government chauffeurs and first-class airline tickets. He also reduced his salary including that of public servants during his tenure. Literacy rate in Burkina Faso increased from 13% to 73% just a year after he took power in 1983
Thomas Sankara also advocate for the unification of Africa during his tenure just like Ghana’s Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
“He called for Africa to stand against ‘neo-colonialism’ of institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and The World Bank” bbc