Burkina Faso organized the trial of the men who assassinated Thomas Sankara (photo), on 15 October 1987.
Sankara was an iconic African revolutionary, often compared to Che Guevara. He was anti-imperialist, socialist, pan-Africanist and Third-Worldist. He vehemently criticized the African policy of French President François Mitterrand and his support for apartheid in South Africa against blacks and in Israel against Arabs. He brought his country closer to Cuba and adopted its system of Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) to replace the feudal powers wielded by the traditional chiefs.
He was assassinated along with 12 of his men by a commando for the benefit of Blaise Compaore who succeeded him.
The latter, living in exile in neighboring Ivory Coast, was sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison.
None of the defendants present at the trial pleaded guilty.