IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Autor)
At least eight prominent leftist
politicians close to Thomas Sankara were reported to have been
rounded up after their leader's death. [ "Prominent Politicians
Reported Arrested in Burkina Faso", Reuters, 21 December 1987.
Attached.] About one hundred guards and advisors were reportedly
killed during the coup. [ "Sankara and Nearly 100 Killed in Burkina
Faso", Reuters, 16 October 1987. Attached.] The arrests followed
the creation of an opposition movement against the Compaore regime.
[ Reuters 21 December 1987.] The quoted article states that the
former ambassador to Cuba decided to stay in Cuba to head the
opposition group called the Democratic and Popular Union.
Sankara's revolutionary ruling system was
based on Libya's Green Book and Campaore's political leanings are
reported to be even more pro-Libyan. [ "Captain Blaise Compaore,
President, National Front, Burkina Faso", The Perth Corporation;
Defense & Foreign Affairs Weekly, 2 November 1987.] However,
another source reports that both foreign and local citizens
consider Campaore to be more moderate than his predecessor. [
"Burkina Faso Coup Leader Faces Military Threat", The United Press
International, 24 October 1987.] Campaore accused Sankara of
"personalization of power...treason against the revolution (and)...
causing social decadence and total chaos in the society" ["Burkina
Faso Leader Declares National Holiday", The United Press
International, 15 October 1987. Attached.]
Soon after taking over the government,
Sankara announced that all political prisoners were being released,
reportedly numbering several hundred people, including the chief of
the Trade Union Movement. [ "Sankara and Nearly 100 Killed in
Burkina Faso Coup", Reuters, 16 October 1987.] The report further
stated that striking teachers fired in 1984 were reinstated and
that local governments were instructed to hold political meetings
"to assure the entire popular masses of the need for and
righteousness of the rectification process". [Ibid.]
Although the borders and airports were
closed to international traffic immediately following the coup, the
Information Officer at the Embassy of Burkina Faso stated that the
reopening of the airports could not have been longer than a few
weeks to a month after the closure date. [ As stated by the
Information Officer at the Burkina Faso Embassy in Ottawa during a
telephone interview with the IRBDC on 28 May 1990.]
Corroborating information for the oral
source is currently unavailable to the IRBDC.
Information regarding Campaore's government
mistreatment of military personnel associated with the Sankara
regime both in the country and in Libya, is currently unavailable
to the IRBDC.
Attached please find a copy of:
"Burkina Faso's New Leadership Faces Hostility at Home, Abroad",
Reuters, 22 October 1987.