Mariam Sankara: I Am “Satisfied” With The Decision (Blaise Compaoré / Thomas Sankara case)

David Kipre


After long years during which the Burkinabe population was put on hold for the reopening of the file concerning the violent murder of former President Thomas Sankara, the Burkinabe Justice finally reached its verdict.

This act respected by the widow Sankara, who, she says, “did not accept the murder of her husband” Captain Sankara, has soothed many hearts, especially hers. Faced with this verdict, we collect the testimony of widow Sankara.

1-A heavy sanction for Blaise Compaoré and his cronies

On Wednesday, April 6, 2021, the military court of Ouagadougou rendered a verdict concerning the assassination of Captain Thomas Sankara and 12 of his companions, who were killed on October 15, 1987, by a group of assassins during a meeting of the ruling National Council of the Revolution.

Blaise Compaoré and Gilbert Diendéré were identified as guilty of attacking state security. Former President Blaise Compaoré was sentenced to life imprisonment, while eight other defendants received sentences ranging from three to 20 years in prison. This decision has not ceased to provoke strong reactions particularly that of Mariam Sankara, widow of the much-lamented captain.

The six-month long trial, long awaited by the people of Burkina Faso, was closely followed by the population, for whom the death of Thomas Sankara remains a significant page in their history.

Present throughout the trial, Mariam showed courage and patience to hear the decision, a decision that according to her, was well motivated.

2-I am “satisfied”, says Mariam Sankara in front of the judge’s decision

“I think that the Burkinabe people and public opinion now know who President Thomas Sankara was, the individual, the politician, what he wanted from this country.

The affront to President Sankara has been washed away because he was called a usurper, a renegade etc. …. I can say that he is rehabilitated……. In any case, I am relieved because we know who he is. He had been called everything in speeches and all that, now we know that he was a man of integrity,” says Mariam Sankara.

She says she is satisfied now that justice has been done to her late husband, former president of Burkina Faso, and infamous pan-African icon, Captain Thomas Sankara. Mariam Sankara also thanked the government put in place after the uprising, which allowed the process of resolving this long-awaited case for over 30 years. “It is something we asked for, justice and truth… This verdict will give many people food for thought.

Nevertheless, Mariam Sankara is surprised by the heavy sentence given to the culprits, because for her, it was unexpected. “It is true that we did not expect this verdict”. However, she says “it is still a serious act that was committed, a murder.

So we can’t say that these sanctions are not up to the task.” For her, it is a completely justified and adequate decision. This, she adds, “will help deter people from committing such violence, because it must stop in Africa and in Burkina Faso.

” The lawyer for the Sankara family, Guy Hervé Kam, also admits to being satisfied. “Today, I can say that I am proud to be a Burkinabe and a lawyer.  I am proud to see the outcome of a legal battle of nearly 30 years.”, he added. Regarding the absence of Blaise Compaoré and Hyacinthe Kafando, the widow said that their presence would have motivated the other defendants to confess, rather than remaining in the total position of refusal in which they were.

“Given that the main defendants, Hyacinthe Kafando and Blaise Compaoré, were on the run, the others also did the same thing. They did not repent at all. I leave them with the sanction of their conscience,” she said.

In any case, satisfaction, relief and inner peace are the emotions that the widow Sankara says she felt after this trial washed away the affront, she says, was done to her late husband, Captain Thomas Sankara.

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