The former president of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his predecessor, revolutionary friend Thomas Sankara.
Compaore’s trial has been going on for six months and was brought to a close on Wednesday.
The former Burkinabe was being tried alongside 13 other individuals for the murder of Sankara who was assassinated during a coup led by Compaoré on October 15, 1987, in Ouagadougou.
Two other chief suspects Hyacithe Kafando and Gilbert Diendéré, were also handed similar sentences as Compaoré
Diendéré was among the people who led the coup in 1987, while Kafando was the then leader of Compaoré’s guards.
Sankara, the ‘African Che Guevera’ as some people would refer to him was a Pan-Africanist who took reign of his country’s leadership in 1983, aged only 37.
He made drastic changes in Burkina Faso during his time in leadership, starting from changing the name of the former French colony from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means the land of the upright.
He trimmed down his cabinet to a sizeable number and limited each minister to use only one official car.
Sankara’s government also relented on the dependence on foreign aid, as he believed his country could sustain itself.
After the coup and his assassination, Compaoré became president of Burkinabé until October 31, 2014, when an uprising forced him to resign and flee to Ivory Coast.