Sankara Assassination Trial: A Different Appreciation Verdict

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The verdict in the Thomas Sankara killers trial fell on Wednesday, April 6, after 35 years of waiting. The former President of Burkina Faso and 12 of his associates were killed on 15 October 1987. 14 defendants appeared in this case. The most important of them are former President Blaise Compaore, and Hasinth Kafando, head of security, tried in absentia because they are in exile in Côte d’Ivoire. and General Gilbert Denderi, former personal chief of staff to Blaise Compaore. They were sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of assaulting state security, complicity in murder, and premeditated murder. This landmark ruling is not unanimous, and it also caused tension in the courtroom.

With our special correspondent in Ouagadougou, Gael Lalex

Home or death, we will prevail “, shouted in the courtroom after the verdict was pronounced.” General we are with you “We hear a few minutes later. The verdict at the trial raises many interpretations.

Supporters of Thomas Sankara see in him the end of impunity, an increase in justice in Burkina Faso and a restoration of international image. ” It is a victory to judge such a crime in West Africa, after 35 years of facts “Rejoices Fidel Toei, former labor minister under Thomas Sankara, who believes that Burkina Faso” Improving the results of this trial Even if he regrets the absence commercial sponsor. »

Read: Sankara trial in Burkina Faso: Former President Blaise Compaore sentenced to life imprisonment

Pierre Ouedraogo, President of the Thomas Sankara Memorial Committee, salutes “ A great victory for the people of Burkina Faso and the consolidation of democratic values who hopes, It will ensure that such events do not happen again nor that Weapons are used to liquidate national, African and global hopes “.as the Committee’s Secretary General, Luc D’Amépa, said to himself” Satisfied “.” The truth has been said “He judges, believing that he is.” Also important for the history of the country and Africa, because from now on we can judge coups. »

Among the families of the victims, Aida Kimde said she welcomed the decision with “ joy and comfort “.” The sentence is fair, not cruel The daughter of Frederic Kemde, one of the 12 collaborators who were murdered along with Thomas Sankara, believes. In the face of despicable acts, exemplary punishment was needed and I thank Burkinabe justice for its impartiality “She thinks the referee will help her.” blacksmith “and for” Reducing suffering during 35 years of waiting “.


The judgment itself, we think is appropriate. It is the most severe punishment that has been retained, and that is what is required. We believe that it can only have a positive effect and will give lessons to all those who have such intentions not to reproduce this kind of thing in our country.

On the streets of Ouagadougou, opinions about governance are divided

For others, this ruling is the nail that drives Burkina Faso further into insecurity. ” I would like to see General Diendere free, The disgruntled Mamadou Bamogo, who came to attend the hearing. An experienced soldier should be in the field, not in prison. ‘Disappointed with judgment’ so heavy “He sees this.” Makes things worse instead of improving them “.

Attorney Blaise Compaore, Professor Pierre-Olivier Sur, for his part denounced the organization of the trial in ” Political and legal chaos “and one” falsity of justice “. evokes the possibility of the legal battle continuing.” Today, we either let things happen, or do nothing, or wait for this court decision to be forgotten, or we file an appeal and find ourselves before international courts that will suddenly overturn this fictitious ruling. »

Former Minister Ablassie Ouedraogo, who considers this decision “ rather severe Wonders: The question is whether such a ruling will not add to the frustrations and disappointments of many Burkina Faso and thus deepen divisions. “. Contrary to this, the head of the Le Vasso party considers this to be.” It can delay the achievement of national reconciliation “It calls on the protagonists of the novel to revolutionize.” sure page » and work Together to rebuild peace, stability and security “.

Some also see in this court decision the preservation of the only achievement of the 2014 uprising, which put an end to the Blaise Compaore regime. The democracy that followed was toppled by a coup in January. “ We must continue on this path. Jermaine Petroiba, girlfriend of Thomas Sankara, explains. We now want to see the trial of the murderers of journalist Norbert Zongo and student Dabo Bockarie. »

To read again: Web Documentary: Who Killed Sankara?

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