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Blaise Compaore: Ex-Burkina Faso President Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Killing Sankara

Former Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his predecessor, Thomas Sankara in 1987. 

Compaore was sentenced in absentia after reportedly fleeing to Ivory Coast. 

He was sentenced alongside his former head of security Hyacinthe Kafando. 

“The court finds Blaise Compaoré and Hyacinthe Kafando guilty of attack on state security, complicity in murder and concealment of a corpse,”the tribunal said. 

Thomas Sankara PHOTO/COURTESY

On 15 October 1987, Sankara was killed by an armed group with twelve other officials in a coup d’état organized by Compaore. 

When accounting for his overthrow, Compaore said Sankara jeopardized foreign relations with former colonial power France and neighbouring Ivory Coast. 

He also accused Sankara of plotting to assassinate opponents. 

According to Halouna Traoré, the sole survivor of Sankara’s assassination, Sankara was attending a meeting when his assassins singled him out and executed him. 

The assassins then shot at those attending the meeting, killing 12 other people. 

READ ALSO: Ali Mwatsahu: Mombasa Politician Survives Assassination Attack After Car Shot 22 Times

Sankara’s body was riddled with bullets to the back and he was quickly buried in an unmarked grave while his widow Mariam and two children fled the nation. 

Sankara, who ruled Burkina Faso in 1983-1987, is often regarded as among Africa’s greatest leaders, having left an indelible mark for having touched hearts and millions of people beyond his country.

Some critical analyses have however seen continuous admiration for Sankara as a testament of a continent lacking in transformational and accountable leaders.

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