France has not yet delivered all its archives to the Sankara trial

Thirty-three years after the assassination of former Burkinabé president Thomas Sankara, the case was referred to the control chamber of the Ouagadougou Military Tribunal, which according to authorities gives hope for a trial in 2021. lawyers for the deceased’s family broke the news last Thursday.

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But France has not delivered all its archives, hence the impatience, expressed in a press release from the international network “Justice for Sankara, justice for Africa”.

In 2017, during a visit to Burkina Faso, French President Emmanuel Macron promised that all French documents relating to this case would be “declassified”. According to family lawyers, some of these documents have been sent to the Burkinabè justice, but not all. Therefore, this press release is fromthe international network “Justice for Sankara, Justice for Africa”.

This network is asking France to provide “without delay” the third batch of archives for Burkinabé justice. Carine Frenk, from RFI’s Africa service, joined Bruno Jaffré, one of the network’s coordinators.

“It has been three years anyway. We know that archivists are overwhelmed – and I’m in a good position to know that I’ve spent time in the archives – … but still you do not have to have three years to collect documents. So there is a problem within … I do not know if I should talk about administrations, politicians, archivists … In any case, the fact is that all the promised archives have still not arrived, which explains the slowness before the start of the experiment ”

The trial is nevertheless announced for next year and can be held even if the documents are missing, according to Bruno Jaffré, as the investigating judge in charge of the case has forwarded the case to the control chamber of the military court in Ouagadougou: “This means the judge believes that we can open the trial. ” The control chamber must now check that “the instruction was given in the rules”. And then the actual trial can be organized, and that “it will obviously take some time because it will be a large-scale trial.”

Accusations such as “attacks on state security”, “murder” or even “conspiracy” have been leveled against 25 people, including former President Blaise Compaoré, who lives in exile in Ivory Coast, and General Gilbert. Diendéré, his right arm for more than thirty years.

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