Compaore Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Thomas Sankara’s Assassination

Former Burkinabe leader Blaise Compaore has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his one-time friend and former president of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara.

Until his death in October 1987, Sankara was a Marxist-Leninist leader who led by example and was much loved by his compatriots. He had only led the country for four years at the time of his death alongside 12.

Compaore’s sentencing was done by a military court yesterday, Wednesday, April 6. When his sentence was read out, applause erupted in the courtroom. The sentencing brings to an end a  case that has dragged on for the past 34 years. 

Compaore had taken over the reins of leadership after the bloody coup in which Sankara was killed. Sankara’s death provoked great mourning at the time, and even then-president Ibrahim Babangida had to ask Compaore to explain what really happened. The Nigerian leader has a close relationship with Sankara until his assassination. 

Compaore was toppled in a popular uprising in 2014 and has been living in exile since. His trial and conviction for the murder of Sankara was done in absentia. He was tried alongside Hyacinthe Kafando, who’s suspected to have led the hit squad that killed Sankara and altered Burkina Faso’s history forever. 

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