Thomas Sankara: Trial over murder of ‘Africa’s Che Guevara’ opens in Burkina Faso

Compaore, the primary defendant, was charged in absentia in April with complicity within the homicide. He’s residing in exile in neighboring Ivory Coast and has all the time denied any involvement in Sankara’s demise.

“It’s a second we’ve been ready for,” Sankara’s widow, Mariam Sankara, advised journalists as she arrived on the listening to.

She advised the BBC earlier on Monday she hoped the trial would make clear the deaths of 12 different folks on the day of the coup.

“It is very important all these households,” she stated. “This trial is required in order that the tradition of impunity and violence that also rages in lots of African international locations, regardless of the democratic facade, stops indefinitely.”

Compaore’s former head of safety, Hyacinthe Kafando, can also be being tried in his absence. Twelve different defendants are as a consequence of seem in entrance of navy tribunal within the Ouaga2000 convention middle in Ouagadougou. They’ve pleaded not responsible.

Greater than 100 journalists from the world over packed into the convention middle at the beginning of the listening to.

Thomas Sankara seized energy in a 1983 coup on the age of 33 with guarantees to deal with corruption and the dominance of former colonial powers.

The previous fighter pilot was one of many first African leaders to boost consciousness in regards to the rising AIDS epidemic. He publicly denounced the World Financial institution’s structural adjustment packages and banned feminine circumcision and polygamy.

Sankara gained public assist together with his modest way of life, driving to work on a bicycle throughout his time as a minister and promoting the federal government’s fleet of Mercedes autos when he was president.

However critics stated his reforms curtailed freedoms and left atypical folks within the landlocked West African nation little higher off. Compaore had beforehand stated that Sankara jeopardized overseas relations with former colonial energy France, and with neighbor Ivory Coast.

Compaore moved to Ivory Coast after he was himself overthrown in 2014. His attorneys stated on Friday that he wouldn’t attend the trial, and Ivory Coast has refused to extradite him.

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