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Former Burkina Faso Leader Thomas Sankara Remains Re-Buried

Burkina Faso former leader Thomas Sankara and 12 of his servants were on Thursday, February 23 re-buried at the assassination location in Ouagadougou.


According to AFP, Senior government officials including Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyelem de Tembela joined a hundred relatives who gathered in the capital by 13 coffins draped in the national flag of Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso Leader Thomas Sankara Remains Re-Buried
PHOTO/COURTESY:Thomas Sankara Remains re-buried.

The coffins with the national flag were then placed in tombs behind a giant statue of Sankara erected at the scene of his murder.

Sankara’s widow Mariam Sankara and his two children, who opposed the choice of location for the burial, were absent, but other family members attended the ceremony, AFP journalists witnessed.

A Marxist-Leninist Pan-African model and a hero of anti-imperialist causes, Sankara take hold of power in a 1983 coup and was shot dead with Twelve other political leaders in another overthrow led by his number two Blaise Compaore on October 15, 1987.

Burkina Faso Leader Thomas Sankara Remains Re-Buried
PHOTO/Olympia De Maismont-AFP: People pose for a photo next to Thomas Sankara’s portrait and coffin in Ouagadougou on February 23, 2023 ahead of the reburial of his remains.

The bodies were initially buried on the periphery of Ouagadougou and exhumed in 2015 for a judicial investigation.

“We are happy that our martyrs can finally rest in peace with a fitting grave because their souls had been wandering for eight years,” a representative of the 13 families Joseph Saba said.

“It is a historic day, a solemn moment. They were killed, but they (the assassins) did not kill the vision, they did not snuff out the mission,” a chaplain said on Wednesday after the blessing of the bodies.

Benewende Sankara, a lawyer for the Sankara family with no relation to them, said that the ceremony was “the culmination of the quest for justice.”

Burkina Faso Leader Thomas Sankara Remains Re-Buried
PHOTO/COURTESY:Burkina Faso Leader Thomas Sankara Remains Re-Buried in Ouagadougou.

“It is a joy for all young people because it is like a recognition,” Stanislas Damiba said, president of the Sankara Orphans Association (SOA), which sent hundreds of Burkinabe youngsters to communist Cuba for professional training in the 1980s.

The Burkina Faso government has said an international ceremony will be organized on October 15, 2023, to honour the victims of the incident.

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Sankara came to power in August 1983 as an army captain, aged 33 years.

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Nicknamed Africa’s Che Guevara, he confounded the West for neo-colonialism and hypocrisy and carried far-reaching reforms.

Burkina Faso Leader Thomas Sankara Remains Re-Buried
PHOTO/COURTESY: Former Burkina Faso Leader Thomas Sankara’s statue in Ouagadougou.

Further, he changed the country’s name from the colonial-era Upper Volta to Burkina Faso “the land of honest men” and pushed through a range of changes, including promoting vaccination and banning female genital mutilation.

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