Thomas Sankara’s body has been exhumed

May 29, 2015 The body of the assassinated Burkina Faso leader, Thomas Sankara has been exhumed by Authorities in the country, nearly thirty years after he was killed during a coup in the West African country.

Thomas Sankara was a revolutionary Marxist and African hero who stood for the rights of women and his people, and was widely admired across the world. He was betrayed by his former best friend, Blaise Compaore who assumed power but was eventually ousted by the people. His family seeks more answers now that the man who overthrew Sankara has no power to stop them, unlike in 1997 when his widow, Mariam tried to investigate.

Sankara was believed to have been buried along with 12 others, but some have questioned whether the remains in the exhumed grave are in fact his. Medical experts from Burkina Faso and France are overseeing the exhumation and will conduct DNA tests to identify the bodies.

Experts are expected to be able to also determine what kind of bullets killed Sankara and how many hit him, according to family lawyer Benewinde Sankara, who is not related to the slain leader. Benewinde confirmed that the bodies had been buried in the soil without caskets, and that the first remains were found at a depth of 1 ½ feet and included bits of red fabric.

It is recalled that in Sankara’s four years in power, Burkina Faso doubled the number of children in schools, reduced infant mortality, redistributed land from feudal landlords to peasants and planted 10 million trees that still help shade the capital.

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