Skip to content

Sankara Reburied without Family

Burkina Faso’s most famous revolutionary Thomas Sankara has been reburied in the capital by the military junta – despite his widow and children boycotting the funeral. The icon was reburied alongside 12 comrades at the spot of their assassination nearly 30 years ago. Soldiers and community leaders paid tribute during a ceremony on Thursday at the site in the capital, Ouagadougou, which has since become a memorial for the former leader featuring a life-size statue of him pumping his fist in the air. All the coffins were draped in Burkina Faso flags with a photo beside them. Nicknamed “Africa’s Che Guevara”, he was a fiery Marxist-Leninist who blasted the West for neo-colonialism and hypocrisy. He changed the country’s name from the colonial-era Upper Volta to Burkina Faso – “the land of honest men” – and pushed through a range of reforms, including promoting vaccination and banning female genital mutilation. Sankara and a dozen other leaders were shot dead by a hit squad at a meeting of the ruling National Revolutionary Council on October 15, 1987.