Burkina Faso’s former president Blaise Compaore has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the assassination of his predecessor Thomas Sankara in 1987, a military tribunal ruled Wednesday after a trial that started on October 11, 2021.
The tribunal also sentenced General Gilbert Diendere and Hyacinthe Kafando, a security chief, to life imprisonment.
Compaore, who lives in exile in Cote d’Ivoire after being toppled by public protests in 2014, and Kafando, who has been on the run since 2016, were tried in absentia.
Eight other accused were sentenced to terms ranging from three to 20 years in prison. Three defendants were acquitted.
They were prosecuted for various offences, mainly attack against state security, assassination and concealment of corpses.
Thomas Sankara seized power in Burkina Faso following a military coup on August 4, 1983, as part of a military revolution that changed the name of the country Haute Volta (Upper Volta) to Burkina Faso.
On October 15, 1987, Sankara was assassinated in a coup that brought to power Blaise Compaore, a key member of the military revolution.