Burkina Faso’s transitional government paid tribute on Sunday (Oct. 15) to late pan-Africanist icon and revolutionary president Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, assassinated in a coup 36 years ago. At the event, Boulevard Général Charles de Gaulle in Ouagadougou, the country’s capital was renamed Boulevard Thomas Sankara.
Attendees included relatives of the late leader, the president of the transition, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, and government officials. The ceremony took place after Thomas Sankara was elevated to the rank of Hero of the Nation in early October. A tribute will be paid to him annually.
“The late Captain Isidore Thomas Noël Sankara benefits from a right and privilege in accordance with the text in force. Tribute day is celebrated every October 15 in Ouagadougou. A similar ceremony may be organized in each region at the initiative of its governor ” declared the Minister of Public Service, Bassolma Bazié.
“Today the Boulevard has been named Boulevard Thomas Sankara instead of Boulevard Charles de Gaulle. So today we’re very proud. Because if the Boulevard had been named after imperialists, today we think that we also have heroes, we also have valiant Burkinabe [after whom we] can name these Boulevards or streets […]”
President of the transition captain Traoré, laid the foundation stone for the Thomas Sankara mausoleum. The mausoleum will be built on the very site of the assassination of Thomas Sankara and of 12 of his companions.
Thomas Sankara, who came to power in a coup in 1983, was killed along with twelve of his companions by a Commando of Putschists.
Former president Blaise Compaoré who was Sankara’s right-handman was sentenced to life in prison over Sankara murder in 2022.
“The former Charles de Gaulle Boulevard now bears the name of Thomas Sankara, the name of the most famous Burkinabè citizen in the world. The name that drapes this boulevard with the seal of the dignity and sovereignty of our people in line with our history, our spirit and our soul with anti-imperialist convictions,” said Daouda Traoré, retired Colonel-Major and Vice President of the International Thomas Sankara Memorial Committee (CIMTS).
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