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Burkina Faso: Thomas Sankara to be reburied after 36 years



Late Thomas Sankara
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In this file photo taken on August 31, 1986 Captain Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso, salutes upon his arrival in Harare for the 8th Summit of Non-aligned countries. ALEXANDER JOE / AFP

Burkina Faso’s transition government has announced that the remains of President Thomas Sankara and his 12 companions assassinated on 15 October 1987 will be reburied later this month, at the Thomas Sankara Memorial in the capital, Ouagadougou.

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This decision is the result of consultations within the Armed Forces, the families of the victims, the customary and religious authorities and the International Committee of the Thomas Sankara Memorial, according to a statement issued on Friday.

The bodies of Sankara and his companions of the People’s Democratic Revolution (RDP) were exhumed on 25 May 2015 as part of a judicial process to make sure the remains were indeed his.

Seen as “Africa’s Che Guevara”, the anti-imperialist revolutionary was hastily buried with 12 others after he was ousted in a 1987 coup.

Permission for an exhumation was denied during the rule of his successor, Blaise Compaoré, who left office in 2014 amid street protests.

Mr Compaoré received a life sentence in absentia for his role in the assassination of Sankara.

Sankara’s reburial will be done according to customary funeral rites followed by religious and military ceremonies.


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