Why Is Burkina Faso Ex-President Blaise Compaoré Going To Prison?

Former President Blaise Compaoré was sentenced to life in jail for the assassination of his predecessor, the respected Thomas Sankara, by a Burkinabe court. Sankara, a pan-Africanist politician who came to power in 1983, was assassinated together with 12 other government leaders at the age of 37.

Compaoré, the formal president of Burkina Faso was ousted in a popular revolt in 2014 and has since been living in exile in the neighbouring Ivory Coast, and will face a 30-year prison sentence from prosecutors.

Sankara, the victim was slain on October 15, 1987, during a coup orchestrated by his friend and comrade-in-arms Compaoré. The six-month trial came to a conclusion on Wednesday with the long-awaited judgement.

Sankara, a charismatic Marxist revolutionary, also known As Africa’s “Che Guevara,” promised to combat corruption and post-colonial influences, condemning foreign aid as a control mechanism. However, he could not fulfil his vow when his life was snatched, leaving the residents of his country devastated.

He was assassinated at the age of 37 in the West African nation’s capital, Ouagadougou, four years after seizing power in a previous coup. Hyacinthe Kafando, Compaore’s former security head, was convicted and sentenced to death in his absence.

They, along with the other 12 defendants accused of participating in the conspiracy, had previously denied any role in Sankara’s killing; nonetheless, three of those defendants were found innocent on Wednesday.


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