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Burkina Faso’s Blaise Compaoré charged by court for the death of Thomas Sankara

Former President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, has been dragged before court to face charges regarding the infamous assassination of his predecessor and former Pan-African leader, Thomas Sankara during the 1987 coup which saw him take over power.

Sankara who shot to fame following his anti-corruption campaigns, women rights advocacy, the rejection of aid from foreign financial institutions including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) among many other strong measures after taking power was brutally overthrown by Campaore who was his trusted friend. 

According to reports, the case involving Campaore who is exiled in Ivory Coast after his forced resignation has been referred to a military tribunal in Ouagadougou for further proceedings. Another set of fourteen people who are of interest were equally scheduled to appear before the court.

In addition to Tuesday’s hearing, Compaore’s former right-hand man, General Gilbert Diendere, was also charged by the court for playing a role in the death of the former military leader. Diendere who was in court to hear his charges has been serving jail terms since 2015 due to a failed coup. 

This is not the first time Campaore has been charged for the assassination of Thomas Sankara; it could be recalled that, an international arrest warrant was earlier issued by the Burkinabe military court for the arrest of Campaore in Ivory Coast. However, this together with other warrants were cancelled by the Supreme Court on grounds of a supposed breach of formalities.

Armand Ouedraogo, the then Attorney General said justified that, “these cancellations were made as a result of formal defects because the military court should have asked for the submissions of the Government Commissioner (prosecutor) before issuing the warrants. This formality has not been completed and the Court has decided to cancel all international mandates.”

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