This week on AIAC Talk, we chat to Lassane Ouedraogo, an AIAC Fellow and lecturer at Université Joseph Ki Zerbo in Burkina Faso, and Brian Peterson, professor of history at Union College specializing in West Africa, about the trial for the assassination of Thomas Sankara, which resumes in Burkina Faso on the October 25. The dramatic and tragic details of Sankara’s murder by his comrades on October 15, 1987 are well-known. Less explored is the broader social and political context that made Sankara both noteworthy for his revolutionary ambition, but also marked for his stubborn refusal to accept the constraints of circumstance. Thirty-four years after his passing, and with the architect of his downfall, Blaise Compare, successfully ousted in 2014, Burkinabes are increasingly giving concrete political expression to Sankara’s towering legacy. Unearthing old wounds, will the trial be another catalyst for movements for change in a country still captured by political elites?
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