Africa

Burkina Faso 'issues warrant' for ex-leader Blaise Compaore

Ousted Burkina Faso leader, Blaise Compaore Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Compaore stepped down after a wave of street protests

An arrest warrant has been issued for ousted Burkina Faso leader Blaise Compaore over his alleged role in the 1987 murder of ex-President Thomas Sankara, judicial sources say.

Mr Compaore's ally, Gen Gilbert Diendere, was recently charged in connection with the killing.

Both men have denied any wrongdoing. Mr Compaore is in exile in Ivory Coast after being forced to resign last year.

Mr Sankara, a left-wing radical, is considered a hero for many Africans.

Mr Sankara, described as "Africa's Che Guevara", was succeeded by Blaise Compaore who stayed in power for 27 years, before being ousted by street protests in 2014.

The exact circumstances of Mr Sankara's death have remained a mystery.

Remains thought to be those of Mr Sankara were exhumed earlier this year.

But a test carried out in a French laboratory found no usable DNA, reports Abdourahmane Dia of the BBC French service.

The result was handed on Monday to a judge who earlier this year ordered the exhumation of the corpse as part of an investigation mandated by the transitional government that took over from Mr Compaore.

Mr Sankara's family said recently that an autopsy has found that his body was "riddled with bullets".

During Mr Compaore's rule the investigation into the murder made little progress.


Who was Thomas Sankara?

Image copyright AFP
  • A captain in army of Upper Volta, a former French colony in West Africa
  • Instrumental in the coup that ousted Col Saye Zerbo as president in 1982
  • Took power from Maj Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo in an internal power struggle and became president in August 1983
  • Adopted radical left-wing policies and sought to reduce government corruption
  • Changed the name of the country from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means "the land of upright men"
  • Killed in mysterious circumstances by a group of soldiers in October 1987, aged 37

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