Information regarding mistreatment of individuals (military) loyal to President Sankara. [BFA5661]

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. [Ibid.]

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.