Exiled former Burkina Faso President Blaise Campaore returned to Ouagadougou on Thursday from Cote d’Ivoire to a mixed reception eight years after he was ousted by “people power” protest in 2014.
Campaore, 71, was sentenced in April to life in prison in absentia for complicity in the 1987 death of his friend and Burkina Faso’s revolutionary leader Capt Thomas Sankara.
The Lt.-Col Paul-Henri Damiba-led Burkina Faso junta said Campaore was invited along with other former leaders to seek solution to the country’s governance problems, including widespread insecurity characterised by deadly attacks by jidhadist groups.
Ivorian authorities had refused to repatriate Campaore to Burkina Faso and there was no official confirmation that he had been granted pardon.
Lawyers for the Sankara family said Campaore should be arrested in arrival from Abidjan.
But that did not happen.
What domestic and or external factors facilitated Campaore’s free passage in spite of the life sentence hanging on his neck?
The development has dominated public discussions for the past two days since the report first broke.Burkina Faso is one of three ECOWAS member State under military rule.
Lt.-Col Damiba and his colleagues deposed the government of elected President Marc Christian Kabore in a coup in January this year.
Human rights activists have accused the junta of insensitivity and lack of respect for the memory of revered Sankara, who was murdered at 37 and after a brief but impactful three years as head of state.
He changed the country’s name from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, the land of people of integrity and brought some transformational changes acclaimed across Africa.
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