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Blaise Compare and Captain Thomas Sankara

The former President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, faces long prison sentence if he is found blameworthy of the murder of insurgent leader Thomas Sankara, after military attorney called for a 30-year imprisonment for the crime.

Compaore’s trial, which began in October, advance as the West African country stumble from it’s most recent military coup last month, caused by disagreement and public anger on jihadist ambush in the country.

Captain Thomas Sankara Ex Leader of Burkina Faso

Lawyers asked a court to find Compaore, who is presently in banishment in Ivory Coast, blameable of an “attack on state security,” “concealment of a corpse” and “complicity in a murder”. He’s being accused of being the mastermind behind the killing.

Sankara has long been admired among the African revolutionaries. He came to power in a coup in 1983 when he was only  a 33-year-old army captain.

He was a very strong voice against politics and colonialism, many times in disagreement with Western leaders at that time. Recommending for total reforms to help the poor, he was known as the  “Che Guevara of Africa”.

Sankara, together with his associates were gunned down by a hit squad on October 15th, 1987, at a meeting.

A number of 14 people were put on trial, with 12 of them appearing in court. Lawyers have asked for 30 years jail sentence for the commander of the group Blaise Compaore Presidential Guard, Hyacith Kafando, who is charged with having led the hit squad.

A 20-year sentence is also sought for one of the commanders of the army during the 1987 coup, Gilbert Diendere, who is already under the police custody, serving 20 years imprisonment over separate attempted coup in 2015.

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The killing coincided the coup that brought Compaore, who was Sankara’s former associate, to power.

Compaore went on to rule the country for 27 years before being overthrown by a popular uprising in 2014 and later going into exile.

The Sankara’s family lawyer, Prosper Farama, said the imminent resolution was providing some comfort to the families affected by the killing, but he deplored that “during this trial, no one confessed or repented. No one!”

“La Patrie Ou La Mort Nous Vaincrons” Captain Thomas Sankara.

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