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.
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.
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