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Former Burkinabe President to tell all about Sankara and Compaoré

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Burkina Faso’s Thomas Sankara: Who killed ‘Africa’s Che Guevara’?

By Aïssatou Diallo
Posted on Thursday, 14 November 2019 10:07

Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo, when he was President of the Upper Volta, in 1983 (archives). © RR / Youtube screenshot

Long holding his peace, former President Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo is about to give his version of one of the most controversial pages in Burkina Faso's history: Thomas Sankara's coup d'état that ended his regime on 4 August 1983.

In My Side of the Truth, “currently [deposited] with [his] publisher”, he also recounts the background to the creation of the Committee for the Salvation of the People (Comité du salut du peuple), of which he was a member and which overthrew his predecessor, Saye Zerbo, in November 1982.

Finally, he talks about his time in prison during the Sankarist revolution.

A second book, currently being written, will focus on the Compaoré era.

“Wise old man”

At 77, Ouédraogo still works as a paediatrician at the Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix polyclinic, which he founded in 1992 in a popular neighbourhood of Ouagadougou. Very concerned by the security situation in his country, he considers that “national cohesion is being severely tested”.

Considered a “wise old man”, the former head of state was asked in 2014 to mediate between the opposition and Blaise Compaoré when he wanted to remove the limitation on presidential terms.

During the failed coup trial in 2015, he denied having supported General Gilbert Diendéré.

 

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