Press release


By our letter of January 27, 2023, following the various meetings initiated around the burial of the remains of President Thomas Sankara and his twelve companions in misfortune (exhumed by decision of the examining magistrate of May 25, 2015), we said our wish to see the remains of Thomas Sankara reinterred elsewhere than at the Council of the Entente.

This for specific reasons that we had repeatedly pointed out to Garrison Colonel Coulibaly Sibiri mandated to take care of the funeral.

Indeed, we believed and continue to believe that it is fundamental to find a space that allows us to unite and appease hearts, and not to divide and increase grievances.

The Council of the Entente is not a proper place  to reflect and meditate.

We are therefore surprised to learn from a press release dated February 3, 2023 from the Ministry of Communication, Culture, Arts and Tourism (delete:, spokesperson for the Government) that a decision has been taken to proceed with the burial of the remains, in such a confrontational and controversial place: we quoted: “.. the present decision is the result of consultations within the armed forces (in particular the Garrison Office of Ouagadougou and Military Justice) extended to the families of the victims, to the Town Hall of Ouagadougou, to the traditional  and religious authorities as well as to the International Committee of the Thomas Sankara Memorial.)

Our aforementioned reasons have however been made very clear many times and that from when a transfer of the remains of Thomas Sankara to the Council of the Entente was first mooted a few years ago by the Thomas Sankara Memorial.

We have expressed ourselves several times on this  question, insisting instead on the relevance of preserving the Conseil de l’Entente as a place of remembrance of the gruesome event on  October 15, 1987 so that it is not obliterated  for present and future generations.

We appreciate the many ways by which the people of Burkina Faso keep the flame of remembrance alive  and protect the  history and memory of our country.

We are also sensitive to the fact that his comrades in arms through military institutions, administrative, religious and traditional authorities commit themselves for the celebration of their heroes. Our late son, husband, father, brother,  for  some, uncle, cousin, comrade or friend for others, certainly is a national hero. It is the same for his twelve companions who fell with him and whose  tragic fate is intimately linked to his.

The murders on October 15  remain a  moment of great significance in the recent history of our young nation.

A major trial which reverberated internationaly some thirty years later, has marked  a milestone on  the issue of impunity in Africa and showed that justice can prevail.

It seems essential to us that the events that accompany this cycle take place through mutual  agreement and consultation.

Taking the time to prepare is necessary, especially at this crucial juncture  in our history when we fight to preserve the integrity of the national territory.

We  hope that the reburial of the remains of President Thomas Sankara will take place in a calm and consensual manner, given that our friends, across Africa and the world are watching and feel committed  by what will be a major event in  our history.

The positions taken by those responsible for the organization of the burials are likely to sow confusion and disarray at a time when our country ought , more than ever,  to bring together its children.

We take national and international public opinion to witness that the place of burial of the remains of Thomas Sankara has  been imposed on us.

With regrets we inform you that we will not participate in  the  organization of ceremonies and we will not attend the burials  of the remains of Thomas Sankara and his comrades in-arms.

Nevertheless, we still  hope that a reasonable accommodation will be offered to this cause.

Ouagadougou on February 05, 2023

Members of the Family of the late Thomas Sankara


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