Burkina Faso’s Murdered Leader Thomas Sankara Reburied At Site of His Death

Thomas Sankara, the military captain turned revolutionary who led Burkina Faso in an anti-imperialist coup, was reburied on Thursday at the location in Ouagadougou the place he and 12 comrades had been murdered in 1987.

Draped inside the Burkinabe flag, the stays of the 13 males had been reinterred in a personal funeral ceremony – virtually eight years after they had been exhumed as component to the long-delayed investigation into their deaths, which former president Blaise Compaoré was final yr convicted of plotting.

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The reburial, which had been introduced earlier this month, was attended by Prime Minister Apollinaire Joachimson Kyélem de Tambela as effectively as family of the 13 males, nonetheless some spouse and children members – notably Sankara’s widow – selected to remain away.

Mariam Sankara and different family of the late chief object to the selection of location: the previous workplaces of his National Revolutionary Council, which had been stormed by a success squad on 15 October 1987.

‘Nothing however a circus’

“Sealing the souls of the people we have lost in blood, in that pain, in the place where they fell, it forces us to walk through their blood to pay our respects,” Blandine Sankara, the sister of the late chief, told RFI.

The households had requested that the stays be buried elsewhere, she pronounced, not at the location of their deaths – which as we speak serves because the Thomas Sankara Memorial, watched over by a larger-than-life bronze statue of the chief that frequently attracts a whole lot of holiday makers day after day.

“These days it’s like people are trying to claim the name, the memory of Thomas,” pronounced his sister, who dismissed the reburial ceremony as “nothing but a circus”.


Sankara continues to loom great in Burkina Faso and past.

The progressive insurance policies he enacted inside the 4 years that he and his junta dominated the state from 1983 till his dying – promotion females to authorities jobs, planting tens of millions of timber, and pushing institution attendance and literacy – mixed together with his assertiveness closer to former colonial inefficient, who he demanded cancel African international locations’ debt, have led sundry to reflect on him one of the great lost heroes of pan-Africanism.

But his management was authoritarian and opponents had been suppressed. That left him prone to capability grabs by different would-be strongmen.

As Sankara and his allies had been gunned down, Compaoré, his former pal and righthand man, seized manipulate of the state, which he would rule for the subsequent 27 years.

After protests forced Compaoré from power in 2014, the stays of Sankara and his comrades – which had been buried till then in a cemetery on the outskirts of the capital – had been exhumed to collect proof which may ultimately enable these accountable for the killings to be introduced to trial.

In April 2022 Compaoré, together with Gilbert Diendéré, a military commander on the time of the assassination, had been observed responsible of conspiring to homicide the boys. Hyacinthe Kafando – an officer believed to have led the hit squad that killed Sankara – was convicted of homicide.

All three had been sentenced to life in prison, whilst a further eight men and women obtained lesser sentences.

Neither Compaoré nor Kafondo are serving time, having said that, the previous president residing in exile in Côte d’Ivoire and Kafondo having gone on the run in 2016.

After the decision, Compaoré issued a statement of apology and requested the men and women of Burkina Faso for forgiveness, “especially the family of my brother and friend Thomas Sankara”. Many observed the transfer as a cynical bid to earn a pardon and return residence a free man.

The state’s present authorities plans to carry a “national and international ceremony” to honour the victims on the thirty sixth anniversary of the killings this yr, it introduced earlier this month.

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