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Former Burkina Faso President Compaore, sentenced to life in prison for killing ‘best friend’ Sankara

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Former President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a military tribunal for the murder of his predecessor and ‘best friend’, Thomas Sankara, in a 1987 coup.

The tribunal ruled on Wednesday that Compaore and 13 others were guilty of plotting the assassination of the Marxist revolutionary, Sankara, in the palace coup.

The charismatic and well loved Sankara was gunned down in the nation’s capital, Ouagadougou, on October 15, 1987, at the age of 37, four years after he took power in a coup d’etat.

After taking out Sankara, Compaore went on to rule for 27 years before being ousted in another coup in 2014 and fled to Ivory Coast, where he is still believed to live.

Compaore was charged in absentia along with his former head of security, Hyacinthe Kafando, who was also sentenced to life imprisonment.

Blaise Compoare and Thomas Sankara were best of friends

Blaise Compoare and Thomas Sankara were best of friends

Both have previously denied any involvement in Sankara’s death along with 12 other defendants accused of involvement in the plot, but in delivering its verdict, the tribunal said the prosecution had proven its case beyond every reasonable doubt.

“The court finds Blaise Compaoré and Hyacinthe Kafando guilty of attack on state security, complicity in murder and concealment of a corpse,” the tribunal said in its ruling.

Sankara, a former fighter pilot, was greatly loved by Burkinabés as
he won public support in the impoverished West African nation by selling off a government fleet of Mercedes, lowering the salaries of public servants, fighting corruption and forbidding first class state travel.

He also cut his own salary, refused to work with air conditioning and jogged through Ouagadougou unaccompanied, but his critics often said his reforms had curtailed freedom and did little to enrich the ordinary people.

Thomas Sankara was well loved by Burkinabes

Thomas Sankara was well loved by Burkinabes

Every October 15, workers, students, and activists gather around with white flowers marking the spot where Sankara was shot and killed, a testimony that he is still loved.

Politics

Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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South Africa: President Ramaphosa’s party, ANC meets as impeachment heat intensifies over ‘Farmgate’

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As the heat keeps piling on the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, leaders of his party, the African National Congress (ANC) met on Friday to take a position on the current crisis bedeviling the country’s top man.

The ANC leaders are meeting after an inquiry found evidence President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct, but they delayed a decision over whether he should stay in his post.

The party’s Treasurer General, Paul Mashatile after the meeting said the group would reconvene before Dec. 6 to discuss the report, which will be debated in parliament on that day.

“We want to deal with it properly, we don’t want to miss any step,” Mashatile told reporters, adding that party officials needed to scrutinise the report further.

“The mood was that there is a sense of urgency, that we should resolve these issues so that we can go on with the responsibilities of running the country.”

In reaction to the panel’s report, President Ramaphosa through a statement asked for space to “carefully consider the contents of the report and the next course of action to be taken”, and the National Council of Provinces chairperson acceded to the request for a delay.

The ANC is the dominant party in the country’s parliament, with 230 seats, or nearly 60% of the total, which makes the possibility of an impeachment low as most votes would be towards votes along party lines.

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