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Burkina Faso exhume Thomas Sankara remains

The  grave of military captain, Marxist revolutionary, pan-Africanist, feminist and former President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara, is being exhumed in Burkina Faso after the country’s transitional government reopened the case of his unresolved murder as part of an investigation into his 1987 assassination



Burkina Faso is finally exhuming the grave of former president Thomas Sankara, now that the former President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré is gone. The interim cabinet gave Sankara’s family permission to exhume the general’s body and conduct a postmortem on his remains in order to shed light on his alleged assassination, something his successor Compaoré denied his family during his rule.

According to the BBC reports people went in their large numbers to the site where the grave digging took place in the country’s capital, Ouagadougou to witness the long awaited exhumation.

Thomas Sankara’s family and supporters at exhumation.Photo: Gabriel Kambou via bbc

Sankara, who often travelled across town without bodyguards, was shot dead with 12 others in a 1987 coup that brought former President Compaoré into power. He is still idolised across Africa for his policies and programmes for social and economic change. He was also a left-wing army captain of Burkina Faso who seized power in a 1983 coup and led the country for four years until his death at the age of 37.

Sankara remains popular in many parts of Africa. Photo: AFP via bbc

Sankara remains popular in many parts of Africa. Photo: AFP via bbc

As a cherished charismatic and iconic figure of revolution, Thomas represents the kind of icon many young African dissident should look up to. In 1988, the army arrested and tortured students who urged the authorities to shed light on Sankara’s assassination.

Source: Mail & Guardian Africa