Tuesday 20 March 2018

Burkina Faso military issues arrest warrant for ex-president Blaise Compaore

Burkina Faso held delayed national elections on November 29
Burkina Faso held delayed national elections on November 29

Burkina Faso's military court has issued an international arrest warrant for former president Blaise Compaore for the assassination of the country's ex-revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara.

Mr Sankara was killed with 12 supporters during a 1987 coup that brought Compaore to power.

An investigation into Mr Sankara's death was reopened after Compaore was ousted in October last year in a popular uprising.

Compaore, who was in power for 27 years in the West African nation, has denied involvement in Mr Sankara's killing and now lives in exile in neighbouring Ivory Coast.

Remains believed to be those of Mr Sankara were exhumed earlier this year from a cemetery on the edge of the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou, and are being examined.

"I can confirm the warrant of arrest," said military tribunal director Colonel Sita Sangare, adding he could not give more details.

Compaore's ally, General Gilbert Diendere, was charged earlier this month with complicity in Mr Sankara's killing.

Diendere is already in jail, arrested by authorities after taking power for a week in September during a short-lived coup that overthrew the country's transitional government.

The presidential guard loyal to Compaore staged the week-long coup and has since been disbanded. Several members have also been arrested for Mr Sankara's killing.

"As a family member, I am glad with the step forward made in the case," said Mousbila Sankara, a cousin of the late leader. "(But) I know it will be difficult to have the Ivorians agree to arrest Compaore and send him back home."

Burkina Faso held delayed national elections on November 29 that saw Roch Marc Christian Kabore become the West African country's second elected civilian president since independence from France in 1960.

Press Association

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