Ex-Soldier admits role in the assassination of Thomas Sankara as military court opens trial in Ouagadougou.

An ex-military officer identified as Yamba Élisée Ilboudo has admitted to the allegations in the lawsuit filed against him for playing a role in the assassination of Burkina Faso’s revolutionary leader, Thomas Sankara.

The 62-year-old told the court that, on the day the coup was conducted, he was at the residence of Blaise Compaore, the immediate successor after Sankara was assassinated.  “We were under the orders of Hyacinthe Kafando, as head of security,” he said.

He further narrated that, the above-mentioned Kafanda instructed that they drive to a destination where Thomas Sankara was. Adding that, whenthey got there, Kafando and a man called Maiga, “who had been driving Blaise Compaore’s car, got out and opened fire.”

His testimony is in contradiction with claims by Blaise Compaore, Sankara’s close associate who has since denied allegations that he, together with external forces masterminded the assassination of the revolutionary leader in 1987.

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Yamba Élisée Ilboudo is just one of the 14 people on trial for the death of Sankara. These accused set includes Blaise Compaore who is being tried in absentia. Compaore who succeeded Sankara and ruled for 27 years was forced by a popular uprising to resign in 2013 following attempts to amend the constitution and extend his reign.

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