Lawyers representing the family of Burkina Faso’s ex-President Thomas Sankara on Tuesday urged the transition authorities to come up with “concrete actions” regarding the proposal to exhume his body.
“Talk must now give way to concrete actions. Any further delay in this matter of Thomas Sankara saddens us,” the three lawyers said during a press conference held in Ouagadougou.
Commenting on the relationship between them and the transition authorities, Sankara’s family lawyers said there was “mistrust.”
“The transition authorities made public commitments which obligate them to act. We are taking them at their word,” one of the lawyers Me Benewende Stanislas Sankara (no blood relationship to Sankara’s family) said.
He however said he had held talks with the prime minister and the minister in charge of justice over the matter.
“The prime minister told us that the case will soon be handed over to the military judicial authorities,” Me Benewende said, adding that “he would not wish to speak on behalf of the military authorities.”
Having come to power through a coup in 1983, captain Thomas Sankara was killed through a coup that brought Blaise Compaore to power four years later.
Since 1997, the family of the late president has been seeking permission to exhume the grave “which supposedly” contains his body.
Sankara’s family lawyers said the exhumation of the body should be followed with a judicial inquiry. “Beyond the identification of the body, the family is also demanding truth and justice,” another lawyer Me Ambroise Farama affirmed.
“The contents obtained after exhumation should be used in the inquiry,” Me Sankara concluded. Enditem