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Burkina Faso: Ex-President Compaore to return home in days - Reports

Compaore was in April sentenced to life in jail in absentia by the military court in Ouagadougou for his role in the assassination of his predecessor Thomas Sankara   -  
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Burkina Faso

The former president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, in exile in Ivory Coast since his fall in 2014, is expected in Ouagadougou at the end of the week to meet with the military authorities resulting from the January coup.

Mr. Compaoré, who was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment in April by a military court in his country, "is expected at the end of the week, he must arrive Thursday or Friday for a short stay" and "be received by the head of state as part of the national reconciliation," a source close to the Burkinabe government told AFP.

An information confirmed by the entourage of the former president.

An emissary of the head of the military junta, author of the January 24 coup, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba, "met with him last week in Abidjan for this purpose," according to the source close to the power, which said that Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, had also received him.

During his stay, he will reside in a state villa in which President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who was overthrown in January, was placed under house arrest, according to the source.

"But if his definitive return is decided, he will then have to retire to his residence in Ziniaré, his native village", located northeast of Ouagadougou, she added.

On social networks, supporters of the former president called for a rally at the Ouagadougou airport on Friday morning.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba received former President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, whom he had overthrown, at the end of June "to ease the situation.

It seems that he is trying to create a "sacred union" around him to help him in the fight against jihadist groups that have been bloodying Burkina Faso since 2015 and whose increasingly deadly attacks have multiplied in recent weeks.

Punishment for Sankara's death

President Compaoré had been forced into exile in Côte d'Ivoire in October 2014, in the aftermath of violent popular riots and under pressure from the army and the opposition, which opposed his desire to remain in power, which he had held since 1987.

On April 6, he was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment after a six-month trial before the military court in Ouagadougou for his role in the assassination of his predecessor Thomas Sankara in a coup that brought him to power that year.

This historic trial opened in October 2021, 34 years after the death of Sankara, a pan-African icon.

Blaise Compaoré's lawyers had from the outset denounced "a political trial" before "a court of exception".

The ex-president was suspected of being the mastermind of the assassination of his former comrade-in-arms and friend who came to power in a putsch in 1983, which he has always denied.

The death of Thomas Sankara, who wanted to "decolonize mentalities" and upset the world order by defending the poor and oppressed, was a taboo subject during Mr. Compaoré's 27 years in power.

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