Thursday, April 15, 2021

Former Burkina Faso leader Compaore charged in predecessor Sankara's murder

 A Burkina Faso court charged former President Blaise Compaore in absentia on Tuesday in connection with the 1987 murder of then-President Thomas Sankara, one of the most infamous killings in Africa's post-independence history.

REUTERS

Sankara, a charismatic Marxist revolutionary often called "Africa's Che Guevara", was assassinated during a coup led by his former friend Compaore.

Compaore went on to rule Burkina Faso for 27 years before being ousted in a 2014 uprising and fleeing to Ivory Coast, where he is believed still to live. He has previously denied any involvement in Sankara's death.

A military tribunal on Tuesday charged Compaore with complicity in the assassination, undermining state security and receiving cadavers, a court document seen by Reuters showed.

Compaore's former right-hand man, General Gilbert Diendere, was also charged with several crimes related to Sankara's killing, including complicity in the assassination.

Diendere, who has been in prison since a failed coup in 2015, was in court to hear the charges. He will enter a plea later.

Burkina Faso issued an arrest warrant for Compaore in 2015, but Ivory Coast has declined to hand him over.

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