Published on : 02/23/2023 – 14:20
The body of the former president of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara, assassinated on October 15, 1987 during a putsch, was buried on Thursday, with the twelve men who died at his side, at the scene of their death in Ouagadougou.
Thomas Sankara, the former president of Burkina Faso, and twelve of his companions, assassinated during a putsch on October 15, 1987, were buried, Thursday, February 23, on the places where they were killed, in Ouagadougou.
Several government officials, including Prime Minister Apollinaire Joachimson Kyélem de Tambela, appeared alongside the hundred or so family members who came to pray at the thirteen coffins.
Thomas Sankara’s widow, Mariam Sankara, and her two children, who disapprove of the choice of the place of his death for his burial, were absent. But other family members were present.
First draped in the Burkinabè flag, the coffins were then carried to the graves behind the giant statue of Thomas Sankara erected at the site of his assassination.
Came to power by a putsch in August 1983, Thomas Sankara, pan-African icon, was killed on October 15, 1987 during a coup fomented by his number two, Blaise Compaoré.
That day, the Burkinabè president was meeting at the headquarters of his National Council of the Revolution (CNR) when a commando of putschist soldiers arrived on the spot and shot him and his companions.
“It’s a historic day, a solemn moment,” said the civil chaplain on Wednesday after the blessing of the bodies. “They were killed but they didn’t kill the vision, they didn’t extinguish the mission,” he added.
quest for justice
“We are happy that our martyrs are finally resting in peace with a proper burial because their souls have been wandering for eight years. The families will be able to mourn,” said the representative of the 13 families, Joseph Saba.
Buried for the first time in a cemetery on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, the bodies of Thomas Sankara and his twelve companions were exhumed on May 25, 2015, for the purposes of legal proceedings.
Me Benewende Sankara, lawyer for the Sankara family, with whom he has no family ties, hailed “the crowning achievement of a quest for justice for Thomas Sankara and all the victims of October 15, 1987”.
“It’s a joy for all young people because it’s like a rebirth,” rejoiced Stanislas Damiba, president of the Sankara Orphans Association, hundreds of Burkinabe teenagers sent for training in Cuba in the years 1980 by former president.
A “national and international ceremony of tribute to the victims will be organized on October 15, 2023, to honor their memories”, according to the government.
After Sankara’s death, Blaise Compaoré remained in power until a popular uprising that led to his fall in 2014. Last April, after a six-month trial, the Ouagadougou military court sentenced in absentia Blaise Compaoré, who lives in Ivory Coast, to life imprisonment for his role in the assassination of Thomas Sankara.
Source: France 24