Sankara Affair: Blaise Compaore, Nine Others To Pay Damages

The decision was made public Tuesday by the country’s military court after several months of hearing.

Burkina Faso’s military court has ordered expresident Blaise Compaore and nine others to pay more than 800 million CFA as damages to relatives of revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara and aides who were assassinated in 1987. The sum represents “reparation of moral and economic prejudice”, including “a symbolic franc” for the heirs of Thomas Sankara. The order which was made public on Tuesday, comes after a trial last month sentenced the group to long jail terms, ending a 34- year-old case that has kept the entire nation spellbound. Apart from the ex-president Blaise Campaore, others involved in the payment of the sum are, the former commander of his guard Hyacinthe Kafando and the former head of the army in 1987 Gilbert Diendere, all sentenced to life imprisonment in early April for their involvement in the assassination, as well as seven other defendants sentenced to between three and twenty years in prison.

Rendering judgement in the capital Ouagadougou, the Chief Judge of the Military Court, Urbain Meda said, the Burkinabe government will have to compensate the beneficiaries if the convicted persons are unable to pay the amounts and rejected a request for the return of Thomas Sankara's property to his family. “We deplore the chamber’s decision not to grant this request for the return of property. With the family of Thomas Sankara, we...

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