On Wednesday, a military court in Burkina Faso sentenced former President Blaise Compaore to life in prison for the 1987 assassination of revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara.
READ ALSO: Burkina Faso: Blaise Compaoré sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Thomas Sankara
Applause erupted in the courtroom as the long-awaited verdict was read, putting an end to a case that has plagued the West African state for 34 years.
Mariam, the widow of Thomas Sankara, was also present during the judgment. She hailed the verdict as real justice.
“I think the people of Burkina Faso and public opinion now know who President Thomas Sankara was, who the individual was, who the politician was, what he wanted, what those who assassinated him wanted. Anyway, I’m relieved because we know who he is. We had talked about everything in speeches and now we all know he was a man of integrity. »
The court also handed down life sentences to Hyacinthe Kafando, an officer suspected of having led the commando, and General Gilbert Diendere, commander of the army at the time of the assassination, which coincided with a coup that brought Compaoré to power. Eight other defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to twenty years, while three defendants were acquitted.
But ex-president Blaise Compaore lives in exile in Ivory Coast after he was overthrown by public protests in 2014. Their trial and sentencing were in absentia.
READ ALSO: Sankara / Ouattara case will not deliver Compaoré: “he is at home in Côte d’Ivoire”
The six-month trial was watched avidly by many in the landlocked Sahelian country, for whom Sankara’s bloody death remains a dark stain in the country’s history.
photo credit: africafeed