Press release 28 July 2022

International Campaign Justice for Sankara

On President Compaoré's visit to Burkina Faso and his request for a pardon

On 23 January 2022, in the midst of the trial of Thomas Sankara’s assassination, a coup d’état took place, while the country was besieged by jihadist hordes. On 24 January 2022, a Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, denounced the Kaboré government’s inertia against terrorism and announced its takeover. Shortly afterwards, the constitution was suspended and then restored, with exceptional measures.

Nevertheless, the trial resumed and the main defendants were convicted on 6 April. Among them was President Compaoré, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia for “attack on state security” and “complicity in murder”.

Already during the trial, rumours of negotiations with Abidjan were confirmed. A section of the political class argues that the former Compaoré regime, having made pacts with the jihadists, could restore peace. The return of the former president is called for and in the name of reconciliation, between parties that are not clearly stated.  A summit of the country’s former heads of state was then orchestrated by the new regime.

This is how Blaise Compaoré was received on 7 July 2022 with impunity. The red carpet was rolled out for him rather than arresting him, even though the summit failed.

On 26 July, with a semblance of contrition, he asked for forgiveness in the press, without contacting the families and without acknowledging his crime and the odious assassinations he committed, and above all without facing justice.

The family of President Sankara has been waiting for 35 years for justice to be done.  Since  April 6, 2022, they have been waiting for the verdict rendered by independent judges after an exemplary trial to be executed.  There can be no reconciliation without truth and respect for justice.  The contempt shown by the new regime and by Blaise Compaoré for the verdict of the military tribunal, delivered in the name of the Burkinabe people, is shocking. The new authorities’ desire for amnesty, echoing the caciques of the old regime, will not be accepted either by the Burkinabe or by pan-Africans around the world.

The assassination of President Sankara and the end of his revolution have nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on the Sahel and Burkina. In line with the recent press release of the lawyers of the collective, the International Campaign Justice for Sankara considers this failure of justice and the continuation of impunity unacceptable.