Burkina Faso’s former President Thomas Sankara, was reburied Thursday, eight years after his body was exhumed as part of an investigation.
Sankara’s body, and those of the 12 people who died with him, were reburied at the site of his assassination, which has since become a memorial for Sankara featuring a life-size statue of the former leader pumping his fist in the air.
Soldiers and community leaders paid tribute during a ceremony Thursday, some posing for pictures by Sankara’s coffin. All the coffins were draped in Burkina Faso flags with a photo beside them.
Sankara and the others were gunned down in the capital, Ouagadougou, during a 1987 coup and buried hastily, their bodies only allowed to be dug up in 2015, after the ousting of former President Blaise Compaore.
Last year, Compaore, who now lives Cote d’Ivoire, was tried in absentia and convicted of complicity in their murders. A Burkina Faso military tribunal sentenced him to life imprisonment. Compaore’s right-hand man, Gilbert Diendere, and former spy chief Tousma Yacinthe Kafando were also given life sentences. Eight other people were found guilty of a range of charges including giving false testimonies and complicity in undermining state security.