The trial of the assassination of Thomas Sankara, pan-African icon alongside 12 others in a 1987 coup, will herald October 11 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s military prosecutor announced Tuesday.
“The military prosecutor at the military court of Ougadougou informs national and international opinion that the trial of those accused in the case of the assassination of President Thomas Sankara and his twelve companions will open on Monday, October 11, 2021, from 09:00 (GMT and local),” said in a statement sent to AFP.
The text further added the trial will be relocated “in the banquet hall of Ouaga 2000” and will be made public.
In mid-April, the case had been referred to the military court in Ougadougou after the confirmation of charges against the main defendants, including former Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore’, 34 years after the death of the “father of the revolution” Burkinabe.
Twelve other defendants will be tried for “attack on state security,” “complicity in assassinations,” and “complicity in receiving copses.”
The defendant was identified as General Gilbert Diendere, one of the maon leaders of the army during the 1987 coup, who later became Blaise Compaore’s chief of staff and soldiers of the former presidential guard.
General Diendere is reported serving a 20-year prison sentence in Burkina Faso for a 2015 coup attempt.
More people were initially implicated, but “many of the defendants have died,” according to the prosecution’s lawyers.
Sankara came into power in a coup in 1983 and was killed by a commando on October 15, 1987, at the age of 37, during a coup that brought his then comrade-in-arms, Blaise Compaore, to power.
The death of Sankara, who became a pan-African figure and nicknamed the “African Che,” was a taboo subject during the 27 years of power of Mr. Compaore, who was overthrown by a popular insurrection in 2014.
After the fall of Mr. Compaore, the case was revived by the democratic transition regime, and an arrest warrant had been issued against him by the Burkinabe justice in March 2016.
In February 2020, the first reenactment of Sankara’s assassination took place at the crime scene at the National Council of the Revolution (CNR) headquarters in Ouagadougou.
Blaise Compaore lives in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso’s neighboring country, where he fled after his fall and of which he obtained the nationality unless he appears voluntarily before his judges, he should be tried in absentia