Ivory Coast confirms Blaise’s upcoming visit

While news of Blaise Compaoré’s arrival in Burkina for the next few days had been circulating since Monday, Abidjan officially confirmed it on Wednesday, July 6 in Ouagadougou. Residing in Côte d’Ivoire since his fall in 2014, the former president must attend a meeting with former Burkinabe heads of state, under the auspices of the transitional regime, as part of a reconciliation process.

as reported from Abidjan, Peter Pinto

Not since he was overthrown by a popular uprising in 2014, Blaise Compaoré never set foot in Burkina Faso. Eight years ago, the ousted president of Abidjan was welcomed by Alassane Ouattara, who gave him Ivorian nationality. In recent years, several delegations, on behalf of Burkinabe’s leaders, have gradually visited Abidjan to study the possibilities of bringing Blaise Compaoré back to his country, in order to framework for reconciliation.

But the trial for the murder of former leader Thomas Sankara, when the coup that overthrew President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in January interrupted the process. This was eventually revived by the junta.

In late June, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba sent former head of state Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo to Abidjan, in a process that therefore appears to be on the verge of success, the government spokesman confirmed. Ivorian Amadou Coulibaly at the end of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday.

“Following the contacts that the President of Burkina Faso, the Head of State leading the transition, has had with Côte d’Ivoire, arrangements are being made for President Compaoré to take part in the reconciliation process under way in his country.”

The Ivorian government spokesman confirmed that “there will be a meeting with all former presidents of Burkina Faso, including Blaise Compaoré”, but said he did not know the date.

In April, Blaise Compaoré was sentenced in his absence to life in prison, during the trial of the murder of Thomas Sankara. The Sankara family lawyers on Wednesday called on Burkina Faso authorities to arrest him as he stepped off the plane.

In recent years, Ouagadougou has requested the extradition of Blaise Compaoré. What Côte d’Ivoire has always refused on the grounds that it does not extradite its citizens. This journey of a few days may therefore indicate that the patron of Blaise Compaoré received promises on this point from Ouagadougou.

Read also: Burkina Faso: the difficult question of Blaise Compaoré’s return, sentenced to life in prison

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