15 nov No more cover up: Compaoré killed Sankara
Blaise Compaoré is not family of mine, but in Burkina Faso most people who looked at my passport thought so. They believed I was a cousin of the president and that helped me find a seat in an overbooked airplane or get the best table near the window in one of the French restaurants in Burkina’s capital Ouagadougou. Those days are gone. Blaise Compaoré had been kicked out of office by angry mobs, was forced into exile and now lives in Ivory Coast. Some general or other is taking over until the next elections, that will be as democratic as they get. The intention, of course, is good, but democratic elections mean little in African countries where your network counts, not the votes. Whoever will become president, he or she will need to cooperate with the existing kingdoms, influentials, cronies and medicine men. Party politics, unfortunately, will melt, self enrichment of the happy few will continue and very little will change.
The young Burkinabé know all this and admit they have lost faith in their politicians. At least they can be satisfied of having toppled their authoritarian leader. A man for whom power was more important than friends. So let me make one thing clear, once and for all: Compaoré had his best friend Thomas Sankara, Burkina’s Patrice Lumumnba, a pure and empathic socialist, killed in order to take his place. I know, every paper we read tells us that there were ‘mysterious circumstances’ around Sankara’s death, that no one can tell what really happened. Many witnesses have assured me that the murder was carefully planned and executed by the jealous second in command. The promising man in charge was just too popular to be true and there was no other way to take over the lead. It had to look like an unfortunate accident, consequence of a moment of chaos, and the trick worked. But with Comparé’s departure it is time for the whole truth.
Ouagadougou resembles ancient Rome from time to time, but soon things go on as usual. The king is dead, long live the king.