Supporters of former Burkina Faso President Thomas Sankara on Tuesday called for “institutionalizing” of October 15, the anniversary of his assassination, at a tribute ceremony in Ouagadougou.
“We call on the authorities in Burkina Faso to institutionalize 15 October as a day to pay tribute to the national hero Thomas Sankara,” said Luc Damiba, Secretary General of the International Memorial Committee Thomas Sankara, at the headquarters of the National Council of the Revolution.
“Our wish is that there will now be a whole ceremony with the involvement of the National Guard officials including the president of Burkina Faso, who must attend the ceremony to show commitment from the highest level.” – Damiba.
Thomas Sankara was killed by a commando on October 15, 1987 at the age of 37 during the coup that brought Blaise Compaore, his comrade in arms, to power. Mr. Sankara, renowned for his integrity and commitment to development, has since become an icon throughout Africa.
“It would indeed be possible to institute a ceremony every October 15 for this man who worked to emancipate the people of Burkina Faso,” said the Speaker of the National Assembly, Allassane Bala Sakandé, who placed a wreath with the Minister of Security, Ousseni Compaore, a former companion of Sankara.
Thomas Sankara came to power in a coup d’état in 1983 and faced many protests in his country because of his uncompromising choices, and his denunciation of imperialism and his links with certain leaders in the continent, including Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, earned him some powerful enemies internationally.
The fall of Blaise Compaoré, ousted by a popular uprising in 2014, revived Thomas Sankara’s posthumous popularity.