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Thomas Sankara, revolutionary leader, reburied in Burkina Faso

Thomas Sankara, revolutionary leader, reburied in Burkina Faso

Thomas Sankara, revolutionary leader, reburied in Burkina Faso

Thomas Sankara, revolutionary leader, reburied in Burkina Faso

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  • Thomas Sankara was assassinated nearly 30 years ago.
  • His body was reinterred there with the remains of 12 other comrades.
  • Sankara’s family requested the government bury him elsewhere.
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Thomas Sankara, the charismatic and revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso, was assassinated nearly 30 years ago; his body was reinterred there with the remains of 12 other comrades.

At the location in the nation’s capital, Ouagadougou, which has since been transformed into a memorial for the former president and features a life-size statue of him raising his fist in the air, soldiers and local leaders paid respects during a ceremony on Thursday.

Burkina Faso flags were hung over each coffin, and there was a picture next to each one.

After leading a leftist coup that toppled a pro-moderate military faction in August 1983, Sankara, then 33 years old and an army captain, assumed control.

He was a firebrand Marxist-Leninist who denounced the West for its neo-colonialism and hypocrisy, earning him the moniker “Africa’s Che Guevara.”

He renamed the nation from the colonial-era Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means “the land of honest men.” He also fought for a number of changes, such as the promotion of immunisation and the outlawing of female genital mutilation.

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Yet, his reign was brief.

On October 15, 1987, a hit team assassinated Sankara and a dozen other leaders at a National Revolutionary Council meeting.

The murders happened on the same day that Compaore took over.

He continued to reign for another 27 years, during which time the murder of Sankara was strictly forbidden, until he was forced to step down in 2014 because to widespread opposition to a plan to extend his nearly 30-year rule.

The 13 bodies were dug up from a cemetery outside the city in 2015 after Compaore was overthrown in order to conduct an inquiry.

It resulted in a protracted trial that ended in April 2022 with life sentences in absentia for Compaore and the alleged head of the hit squad, as well as a comparable sentence for an imprisoned general who had been the army commander at the time.

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Compaore, who currently resides in Ivory Coast, has consistently denied any role in the murder of Sankara.

The burial site, according to Sankara’s family, was like a smack in the face because of the horrors that took place there, despite the fact that they were delighted he was finally laid to rest.

“That place is painful for us to put our feet there. A lot of people were tortured there and crimes committed there and murders,” his younger brother Paul Sankara told The Associated Press news agency by phone from the United States, where he lives.

The family requested that the government bury him somewhere else, but was informed that the army would decide where to bury him as he was a soldier.

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