When Thomas Sankara was under CIA surveillance – Capcov

It is a blind spot in the trial which opens Monday, October 11 in Ouagadougou: the involvement of foreign powers in the assassination of the Burkinabè president. One thing is certain: Washington paid him special attention.

Thomas Sankara assassination: time for trial

The thesis is known and has fueled discussions around the assassination of Thomas Sankara for three decades. Washington, which had little taste for the anti-imperialist diatribes of Thomas Sankara and worried about its links – real or supposed – with Castro’s Cuba and Gaddafi’s Libya, would have acted behind the scenes to eliminate a decidedly troublesome president.

The thesis of the American involvement in the assassination of the father of the Burkinabè revolution gained renewed interest in 2015, when the RAI broadcast “African Shadows”, a documentary produced by the Italian investigative journalist Silvestro Montanaro.

The Taylor thesis

Relying in particular on the testimonies of Jewel Howard Taylor, the former wife of Charles Taylor, Momo Jiba, the ex-aide-de-camp of the former Liberian president, or even Cyril Allen, an official of his party, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), Montanaro claimed in his film that the CIA had lent a hand to France to bring about the fall of Sankara.

According to him, Charles Taylor, who had “escaped” on September 15, 1985 from an ultra-secure prison in Plymouth County (Massachusetts), would have played a central role in this international plot. The American services would have helped him in his escape, with two objectives in mind: on the one hand, to destabilize the regime of Samuel Doe (tortured and assassinated five years later) and on the other hand, to infiltrate the Sankarist movement, by ” neutralize ”the main figure, and make Burkina a rear base to attack the Liberian president.

But the documentary suffers from many inaccuracies. He is particularly wrong about the time and place of Thomas Sankara’s assassination. Difficult, therefore, to make a sufficiently credible evidence to support the thesis, tenacious, of an international conspiracy involving the CIA and France – the relations between President François Mitterrand and the young Burkinabè captain were notoriously execrable.

This international aspect of the Sankara case will not be directly addressed during the trial which opens this Monday, October 11 in Ouagadougou. Failing to have been able to carry out the investigation outside the borders of his country, the judge indeed circumscribed the file to his Burkinabè actors.

A much-followed coup

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