The transitional regime in Burkina Faso paid tribute on Sunday October 15 in Ouagadougou to former revolutionary president Thomas Sankara, assassinated during a coup on October 15, 1987, during a sober ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of his dead, noted an AFP journalist. The ceremony took place in front of the large statue of Thomas Sankara, erected in the Burkinabe capital in 2019, at the place where the ex-president was assassinated and buried in February.

The leader of the transition and Captain Ibrahim Traoré – who came to power in a coup a year ago – chaired the ceremony, accompanied by several members of the government and presidents of institutions. In military fatigues and a red beret, Captain Traoré laid a wreath of flowers at the foot of the statue, after presenting the decree adopted at the beginning of October elevating Thomas Sankara to the rank of “hero of the nation”.

The status of “hero of the nation” was created in June 2022 to honor people who have distinguished themselves in particular by their “exceptional bravery in defense of a national cause” or their “exceptional and honorable prowess for the nation”, according to the Burkinabe government.

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Captain Traoré then proceeded to lay a first stone marking the start of the construction of a mausoleum on the same site, dedicated to the father of the Burkinabe revolution and his twelve other companions killed with him. A day of tribute to Thomas Sankara will be “celebrated every October 15 in Ouagadougou,” declared the Minister of Public Service, Bassolma Bazié.

In addition, the former Charles-de-Gaulle Boulevard, adjacent to the memorial headquarters, was renamed after Thomas Sankara as a “recognition,” according to the vice-president of the Thomas Sankara International Memorial Committee (CIMTS), the Colonel Major Daouda Traoré.

Having come to power through a putsch in August 1983, the Pan-African icon was killed during a coup d’état instigated by his number two, Blaise Compaoré. That day, Thomas Sankara was in a meeting at the headquarters of the National Council of the Revolution (CNR), which he had created, when a commando of putschist soldiers arrived there and shot him and his companions.

After Mr. Sankara’s death, Blaise Compaoré remained in power until a popular uprising that led to his downfall in 2014. In April 2022, the Ouagadougou military court convicted Mr. Compaoré, who lives in Ivory Coast , in absentia to life imprisonment for his role in the assassination of Thomas Sankara.