A new manifesto wants to clarify the death of Thomas Sankara



“Although revolutionaries, like individuals, may be murdered, no one will never be able to kill ideas”. This premonitory words were pronounced by Thomas Sankara a week before his death. He who was president of Burkina Faso and leader of a revolution, inspired in the Cuban model that ended the privileges of many tribal leaders, improved the status of the women, and the quality of education and public health, was murdered 23 years ago now . But since his ideas are not dead, an international campaign is seeking now supports wanting to clarify the circumstances of that murder, correct his entry in the register of deaths and grant a compensation to his family for the trauma.
Thomas Sankara
Thomas Sankara
Burkina FasoBurkina Faso
The same person who organized the coup that brought him to power at the age of 33, his collaborator Blaise Compaoré, was the one, apparently, behind the coup that ended his life. Several international statements points that way. Compaoré, who has been the leader of the country since the coup, described, however, the murder of Sankara as an accident. After assuming presidency, Compaoré cancelled almost all the liberal measures of Sankara, arguing that it was a “rectification” of the revolution of Burkina Faso.
Compaoré’s responsibility in the murder of Sankara was the first complaint against Burkina Faso made by her widow, Mariam Sankara. In April 2006, the UN Human Rights Committee, by request of the Legal Committee of the international campaign Justice for Thomas Sankara (CIJS) and on behalf of his family, agreed with the complainants and asked Burkina Faso to clarify the murder, to guarantee the family impartial justice, to correct his entry in the register of deaths, to demonstrate the place where he is buried and to compensate the family for the trauma, apart from publicly disclose the decision of the Committee.
However, two years later, the 21 of April 2008, the UN Human Rights Committee, in open contradiction with the previous decision, closed the case without having opened any investigation, a decision that, according to the movement Justice for Thomas Sankara, “does not pay justice to the institution”.
“In the international community, some seem to see in Blaise Compaoré a man of peace, but he has been notoriously implicated in the conflicts of Liberia and Sierra Leone, and in cases of arms trade, and of diamonds trade for the UNITA of Jonas Sawimbi, under embargo by the UN at that time, and, more recently, in the conflict that divided the Ivory Coast”, says the movement.“This very international community ask us to take pity on this continent, however rich, that is Africa, while it keeps working to perpetuate its assistance and submission. Actually, the true reasons behind Africa’s difficulties are to be found in the international networks that promote wars and murders to keep their control over the wealth of the continent with the assistance of western countries and some African leaders”, they denounce.
Acording to the manifesto , they are gathering signatures for it, and it has the support of the writer Antonio Lozano, Blandine Sankara, the filmmaker Silvestro Montanaro , Jose Julio Martin-Sacristan, general director of Fundación SUR, Benewende Sankara, Moussa Demba Dembele or Mario Lupi, “more than 22 years after his murder, Sankara, a leading African politician, represents more and more each time an example as an upright ruler, determined, creative, and brave, who was murdered for denouncing the debt and mandate of western powers, but also for devising a determined policy in his country oriented to the needs of the population, embracing at the same time the PanAfricanism”.


Captain Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, was born in 1949, he was the president of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987. With a powerful combination of personal charisma and a social organization with democratic participation, his government started initiatives against corruption and improved education, agriculture, and the status of women. His revolutionary agenda found a strong opposition by traditional leaders of the small but powerful middle class, as well as the suspicion of France, for its neocolonialistic interests in Africa. Besides the friction with the most conservative members of the government Junta, all these reasons provoked his fall and murder in a bloody coup the 15 October 1987.

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