Former Burkina Faso President Compaoré Returns After 8 Years in Exile

Burkina Ex-President Compaore Returns After 8 Years in Exile (News Central TV)
FILE PHOTO: President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore, in New York September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Blaise Compaoré, the former leader of Burkina Faso, returned to Ouagadougou on Thursday after spending eight years abroad.

In order to meet with the nation’s new strongman, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who was inaugurated as president earlier this year after a coup, Compaoré, 71, flew in from Ivory Coast, where he has been residing.

Burkina Faso Junta Leader Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba

Dozens of Compaore’s supporters waited for him at the main international airport in Ouagadougou as his plane touched down at the military installation in the Burkinabe capital.

It is the first time the former president has been on home territory since he was forced into exile in the neighboring country of Ivory Coast in October 2014 as a result of violent protests against his intentions to continue in office after 27 years as president.

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On the same day that Thomas Sankara, the revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso, was assassinated by a hit squad, Compaore had seized power in a coup.

Thursday marked his temporary homecoming home. Damiba, the man in charge of the January coup in Burkina Faso, has extended an invitation to him to stay for a few days.

Compaoré is scheduled to participate in a meeting to “accelerate national reconciliation” in response to the insurgent attacks that have plagued Burkina Faso since 2015 and increased in frequency in recent months. Compaoré will attend the meeting alongside the other surviving former presidents of Burkina Faso.

He was given a life sentence in prison in absentia in April for his part in the 1987 murder of his predecessor Sankara.

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