Former President Sentenced to Life Imprisonment Over Murder

Former President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, sits on stage to support a commitment to stop poaching of African elephants at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York September 26, 2013. EUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A military tribunal in Burkina Faso has sentenced former President Blaise Compaore to life imprisonment for the murder of his predecessor the revered Thomas Sankara in 1987.

Compaore, who is in exile, was tried in absentia.

His former head of security, Hyacinthe Kafando, was also sentenced to life imprisonment.

The long-awaited verdict brings to close a six-month trial about the murder of Sankara who was assassinated on October 15, 1987.

Military prosecutors had requested a 30-year sentence for Compaoré, who was being tried alongside thirteen others.

Mr. Sankara, a Marxist revolutionary, was gunned down by a group of armed men in the capital, Ouagadougou. Compaore then ruled for 27 years before being ousted in 2014.

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