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CIJS International Campaign Justice for Sankara, October 15, 2019
CIJS International Campaign Justice for Sankara, October 15, 2019

The International Campaign Justice for Sankara joins the 32nd commemoration of the disappearance of Thomas Sankara and his comrades. After 22 years of action, the CIJS remains more than ever mobilized as part of the ongoing trial in front of the military court of Ouagadougou.
If all the lawyers could not make the trip to BURKINA FASO for this new commemoration of the death of Thomas Sankara and his companions, the collective remains focused to the course of the instruction. The lawyers give a heartfelt tribute to Me Dieudonné Nkounkou who died this year. Me Nkounkou was with Me Benéwendé Sankara the first lawyers to enlist the complaint of Mariam Sankara, following the call of the GRILA and the International Campaign Justice for Sankara.

The months that have passed have seen the file evolve with new charges. While progress should be welcomed, it is also necessary to note the obstacles for a continuation and closure of the investigation, with all the elements allowing the manifestation of the whole truth.

It is well known that France had indicated its willingness to collaborate with the Burkinabé justice system by giving access to initially classified documents. This had given rise to a lot of hope on the part of the families on the chances of shedding light on the events that led to the assassination of SANKAKA and his comrades.

The Commission rogatoire, entrusted to the Parisian investigating judge Cyril Paqueaux, disclosed a number of documents actually sent in two batches of files. It is clear that to date, there seems to be resistance to communicate batches of the most sensitive documents. During the consultation of the file and in particular the exchanges between the investigating judges, we noticed that the blocking is on the side of the French authorities. We hope that things will evolve positively and reiterate our request to the Burkinabé State to do everything in its power to obtain these documents, and to the French authorities to respect their promisse.

We recall that an arrest warrant exists in this case against Mr. Blaise COMPAORE. We take advantage of this solemn moment of October 15, to encourage the investigating judge and the Minister of Justice on the follow-up of this mandate in Côte d'Ivoire. It is not imaginable for the families, and more generally for all those who seek truth in this affair, that one can evoke a return of Mr. COMPAORE without appearing before the justice of his country. The course of justice can not be subordinated to any political negotiation.

This commemoration is an opportunity to remember that justice must follow its course in transparency and serenity. That is what we will continue to do, with the families of the victims, to remind the French and Burkinabè governments of their responsibilities by allowing the trial to wrap up under normal conditions and in accordance with the procedure. It is important, after a trial that we wish imminent and fair, to give a dignified and prestigious burial to these patriots exhumed for the purposes of the investigation. They were and remain the emblems of the people of Burkina Faso who sacrificed themselves courageously to drive out the autocracy and restore the republican order. We thank you for your active solidarity.