Burkina ex-president Compaore due home in days: Entourage

AFP , Wednesday 6 Jul 2022

Burkina Faso's ex-president Blaise Compaore, in exile since his ouster in 2014, will return home to meet military authorities this week, a source close to the government and his entourage told AFP Tuesday.

Burkina Faso s ex-president Blaise Compaore
Burkina Faso s ex-president Blaise Compaore, AFP

 

"He is expected at the end of the week, he is due to arrive on Thursday or Friday for a short stay" and will "be received by the head of state in the framework of national reconciliation," the source said.

A source in Compaore's entourage confirmed the trip.

An envoy of junta leader Paul-Henri Damiba, "met him last week in Abidjan to this end," the source said, adding that Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara had also received him.

During his stay, he will reside in a government villa where President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who was overthrown in January, was placed under house arrest, the source said.

"But if his definitive return is confirmed, he will have to return to his residence in Ziniare, his home village" northeast of Ouagadougou, they added.

On social media, supporters of the former president called for a rally at Ouagadougou airport on Friday morning.

It appears the junta is attempting to forge a united front in the fight against jihadist groups that have bloodied Burkina Faso since 2015 and whose increasingly deadly attacks have multiplied in recent weeks.

Compaore was forced into exile in Ivory Coast in October 2014, a day after violent popular riots and under pressure from the army and the opposition, who opposed his bid to stay in power.

On April 6, he was sentenced in absentia to life in prison at the end of a six-month trial before the military court in Ouagadougou, for his role in the assassination of his predecessor Thomas Sankara.

The trial opened in October 2021, 34 years after the death of Sankara, a pan-African icon.

Compaore's lawyers denounced the trial as a "political trial".

The ex-president was suspected of being behind the assassination of his former comrade-in-arms and friend who came to power in a coup in 1983, which he has always denied.

The death of Sankara was a taboo subject during Compaore's 27-year rule.

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