A military court in Burkina Faso has charged former president, Blaise Compaore, in absentia with the 1987 murder of his predecessor, Thomas Sankara.
Sankara, a revolutionary often called “Africa’s Che Guevara”, was assassinated during a bloody coup led by his former friend, Mr. Campaore; one of the most infamous killings in Africa’s post Independence history.
Mr. Campaore went on to rule Burkina Faso for 27 years before being ousted in 2014, by an uprising triggered by his attempt to extend his tenure. He has previously denied any involvement in Mr. Sankara’s death.
IgbereTv gathered from International feeds that the trial is a landmark moment in a 34-year quest for justice, led by Mr. Sankara’s family and supported by many Burkinabes.
On Tuesday, the court charged Mr. Campaore with complicity in the assassination, undermining state security and receiving cadavers, a court document showed.
Mr. Campaore and 13 others face charges of complicity in murder and concealing the body of Mr. Sankara and several aides who were killed alongside him.
Mr. Campaore’s former right-hand man, Gilbert Diendere, was also charged with several crimes related to Mr. Sankara’s killing, including complicity in assassination.
Mr. Diendere, who has been in prison since a failed coup in 2015, was in court to hear the charges. He is expected to enter a plea later.
While in power, Mr. Campaore denied calls for Mr. Sankara’s remains to be exhumed but the country’s transitional governement reopened the investigation in 2015.