In Burkina Faso, the culprits of the assassination of Sankara sentenced to 1.2 million euros in damages

The Ouagadougou military court on Tuesday sentenced former Burkinabe President Blaise Compaoré and nine other defendants to pay more than 800 million CFA francs (1.2 million euros) in damages to the heirs of the former -head of state Thomas Sankara and his companions, assassinated in 1987.

The amount of damages for “reparation of moral and economic damages” amounts to 807.5 million CFA francs, including “a symbolic franc”, for the beneficiaries of Thomas Sankara, declared judge Urbain Méda.

This sum will have to be paid jointly by Blaise Compaoré, the former commander of his guard Hyacinthe Kafando and the ex-chief of the army in 1987 Gilbert Diendéré, all sentenced to life imprisonment in early April for their involvement in the assassination, as well seven other defendants sentenced them to terms of three to twenty years in prison.

According to the court decision, the Burkinabè state will have to compensate the rightful claimants if the convicted are unable to pay the sums.

Read also: Sankara trial: 30 years firm required against Blaise Compaoré

The military court, however, rejected a request for restitution of Thomas Sankara’s property to his family.

“We deplore the decision of the chamber not to accede to this request for the return of the property. With the family of Thomas Sankara, we will advise whether we are appealing or not”, reacted Me Benewendé Stanislas Sankara, one of the lawyers for the Sankara family.

Came to power by a coup in 1983, Thomas Sankara was killed with twelve of his companions by a commando during a meeting at the headquarters of the National Council of the Revolution (CNR) in Ouagadougou. He was 37 years old.

The death of Thomas Sankara, who wanted to “decolonize mentalities”, was a taboo subject during the 27 years in power of Blaise Compaoré, forced to leave after a popular uprising in 2014.

Read also: Thomas Sankara, an African myth gone global

He has since lived in exile in Côte d’Ivoire and was convicted in absentia, like Hyacinthe Kafando, on the run since 2016.

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