Captain Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso, salutes 31 August 1986 upon his arrival in Harare for the 8th Summit of Non-aligned countries. Photo: ANP
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Former Burkina Faso leader Compaoré gets life sentence over murder of Thomas Sankara

A Ouagadougou court has sentenced former Burkinabe president Blaise Compaoré to life imprisonment for the murder of his comrade, Thomas Sankara, assassinated on 15 October 1987.

A Ouagadougou court has sentenced former Burkinabe president Blaise Compaoré to life imprisonment for the murder of his comrade, Thomas Sankara, killed on 15 October 1987.

The long-awaited verdict brings to close a six-month trial of Compaoré for the murder of Sankara, assassinated at the young age of 37. The verdict comes almost 35 years after the assassination of Sankara.

In May last year a court in Burkina Faso’s capital indicted former President Compaoré for his role in the murder of Sankara. The military court detailed Compaoré’s “complicity in the assassination” of the charismatic and revered leader.

Compaoré ruled the country until 2014, when he was forced to flee the country for neighbouring Cote D’Ivoire during a mass uprising.

According to reports, military prosecutors had requested for a 30-year sentence for Compaoré, who was being tried alongside 13 others.

Sankara, a revered pan-Africanist leader was murdered alongside 12 others. The great Burkinabé president who spoke truth to power and against colonial and imperial power, challenged global powers while still maintaining the dignity of his people and making life easier for them.

He was the leader of a bold initiative to transform a country trapped in a dependent relationship with the rest of the world, particularly France.

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