Military Review

Captain decent people. How Tomas Sankara Built a Fair Society in Burkina Faso

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The country of Burkina Faso is often remembered as a typical African state with typical African vices, and even as a synonym for backwardness. But the reason for this is not at all in the greater backwardness of Burkina Faso in comparison with other states of the continent, but in an overly “African” name. Meanwhile, Burkina Faso is a very interesting country, and above all because thirty years ago there was an attempt by one of the most human social experiments on the African continent to create a fair society. It was here that the legendary Thomas Sankara, who in Africa is called “black Che Guevara”, ruled for a short time and perished.


From the Upper Volta colony to the “Homeland of Decent People”

4 and 5 August - in stories Burkina Faso special days. First, 5 August 1960, the former French colony of Upper Volta (as it used to be called this West African country) officially gained independence. Secondly, 4 August 1983, as a result of a military coup, Thomas Sankara came to power. Thirdly, 4 August 1984, the Upper Volta received a new name - Burkina Faso, under which the state currently exists. Perhaps the Sankara rule is the most remarkable page in the modern history of this small West African country.

By the time of gaining state sovereignty (5 in August 1960), Upper Volta was one of the least developed economically and culturally colonies of France in West Africa. This is a typical country of the Sahel, pre-Saharan plains, with all the ensuing consequences: a dry climate, desertification of land, lack of drinking water. In addition, Upper Volta has no access to the sea - from all sides this state borders with other countries: in the north - with Mali, in the northeast and east - with Niger, in the southeast - with Benin, in the south - with Togo and Ghana, in the southwest - with Côte d'Ivoire.

Captain decent people. How Tomas Sankara Built a Fair Society in Burkina Faso


The economic and strategic importance of the Upper Volta for the French colonial empire was insignificant, which influenced the size of the funds and forces invested by France in the development of this distant territory.

However, at the end of the 19th century, France, colonizing West Africa, inflicted a military defeat on the Yatenga kingdom that existed on this territory, and in 1895 it recognized French domination. Two years later, the state of Fada-Gourmet became a protectorate of France. The feudal kingdoms created by the Mosi people living here were retained by the French colonial authorities as a cover for implementing their own policies. Over the 65 years of the earth, named for the Upper Volta River originating the Volta River, belonged to France.

The liberation from colonial rule did not bring Upper Volta either economic prosperity or political stability. The country's first president, Maurice Yameogo, the former minister of agriculture, interior and prime minister of colonial autonomy, managed to rule six years - from 1960 to 1966. Nothing remarkable, except as a ban on all political parties with the exception of the only ruling, his presidency was not noted. The economy did not develop, the people were impoverished, discontent grew with the policy of the president, who was in no hurry to turn Upper Volta into a truly independent state.

Then came the era of military coups. Maurice Yameogo was overthrown by the colonel (later - brigadier general) Sangule Lamizana - the creator of the armed forces of the independent Upper Volta. His presidency lasted much longer - 14 years, from 1966 to 1980. However, the general failed to restore order in the country's economy. Serious droughts fell on his reign with the subsequent crop failure and the impoverishment of the agricultural population of Upper Volta. In 1980, the military intelligence chief, General Saie Zerbo, overthrew President Lamizanu. He abolished the country's constitution and transferred the full authority of the Military Council. However, the dictatorship of the former colonial rifleman, the French paratrooper and the voltaic officer did not last long - after two years, the military doctor captain Jean Baptiste Oedraogo headed the next putsch of the voltaic officers and overthrew Zerbo. The reign of Ouedraogo continued even less - just a year, until 4 August 1983, he was overthrown by his own prime minister, captain of paratroopers Thomas Sankar.

Captain with guitar

Thomas Sankara was unusually popular in the army, and then among the majority of the population of Upper Volta. He was born December 21 1949 of the year and did not belong to the traditional elite of the Voltaic society due to its mixed origins. Thomas Sambo's father Joseph Sankara (1919-2006) by nationality was Mosi - a representative of the dominant ethnic group of the country, but the mother, Margarita Sankara, came from the Fulbe people. Thus, by the fact of birth, Thomas Sankara became “silmi-mosi” - an inferior mosi, metis. Nevertheless, he managed to get an education and make a military career. The reason for this is the biography of his father. Sambo Joseph Sankara was a soldier of the French colonial troops and gendarmerie and even participated in the Second World War.

Father and mother insisted that Thomas become a Catholic priest - this way seemed more acceptable and respected to parents than military or police service. However, Sankara decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, and at the age of 19 years, in 1968, he entered military service. A guy with a good school education and obvious abilities was noticed and sent to study in Madagascar in 1969 year. There, in the city of Antsirabe, there was an officer school, which Sankara finished three years later - in 1972. It was during his studies in Madagascar that a young Voltai soldier became interested in revolutionary and socialist ideas, including Marxism and the concepts of “African socialism” that were common at that time. Returning to his homeland, Sankara began service in the elite part of the paratroopers. In 1974, he took part in the border war with Mali, and in 1976, the capable officer was entrusted to lead the training center of the Volta special forces in the city of Pau.



By the way, during the years of military service, the lieutenant, and then captain Sankara, was known among the army as not only a man of left political views, but also an "advanced" guy, a connoisseur of modern culture. He drove a motorcycle through the night capital of Ouagadougou and even played guitar in the jazz band Tout-à-Coup Jazz. During the army service in the parachute units, Sankara met several young officers who also held radical views and wanted changes in the political and economic life of their home country. These were Henri Zongo, Blaise Compaore, and Jean-Baptiste Boukari Lingani. Together with them, Sankara created the first revolutionary organization, the Group of Communist Officers.

Although Sankara was extremely dissatisfied with the regime of General Zerbo, he was still appointed Secretary of State for information in 1981. True, he soon resigned, but the military doctor Jean-Baptiste Oedraogo, who overthrew Zerbo, appointed Sankara, who had gained popularity not only among officers and soldiers, but also in the country as a whole, as Prime Minister of Upper Volta. It would seem that the young and revolutionary captain paratrooper received excellent opportunities to realize his socialist aspirations, but ... in 1983, the son of French President Mitterrand, Jean-Christophe, who served as adviser to the President of France on African affairs, visited Upper Volta. It was he who frightened Uedraogo with the possible consequences of the appointment of Sankara's “leftist” as the head of the Voltai government. Frightened Oedraogo, who was essentially an ordinary pro-Western liberal, immediately took action - not only dismissed Sankara from his post as prime minister, but also arrested him and his closest associates, Henri Zongo and Boukari Lingani.

August 4 revolution

The arrest of Sankara caused ferment in military circles. Many junior officers and soldiers of the Voltai army, already dissatisfied with the policies of President Ouedray, expressed readiness to free their idol and overthrow the Ouedray regime. Ultimately, a detachment of military personnel under the command of Captain Blaise Compaore, the fourth member of the “Group of Communist Officers” who remained at large, freed Sankara and overthrew the Ouedroyi government. 4 August 1983 was a thirty-four year old captain Sankara who came to power in Upper Volta and was proclaimed chairman of the National Revolution Council.

From the very beginning, Sankara’s activity as a de facto head of state differed from the behavior of other African military leaders who came to power in a similar way. Thomas Sankara did not arrogate to himself the rank of general, hung with orders, run his hand into the state treasury and add to key positions of relatives or tribesmen. From the first days of government, he made it clear that he was an idealist, for whom social justice and the development of his own country are values ​​of the highest order. Stories about the poorest president have been repeatedly retold in a wide variety of media, so it hardly makes sense to bring them here in its entirety. It suffices to mention that Sankara, unlike the overwhelming majority of heads of state, did not make a fortune at all. Even as head of state, he refused the presidential salary, transferring it to the fund to help orphans, and he lived on a modest salary, put to him as a captain of the armed forces. An old Peugeot, bicycles, three guitars and a fridge with a broken freezer — these are all the belongings of a typical “guy-guitarist” from Ouagadougou, having been the fate of the West African state for several years.

Sankara's asceticism, his unpretentiousness in everyday life were not fake. Indeed, this smiling African was a disinterested and altruist. It is possible that during several years of his revolutionary leadership he made certain mistakes, excesses, but no one could ever reproach him with this - that he was guided by the interests of his own advantage or a thirst for power. Demanding of himself, Sankara demanded a lot from people employed in public service.

In particular, immediately after coming to power, he transplanted all government officials from Mercedes cars to cheap Renault, canceled personal driver posts for all officials. Negligent civil servants were sent for a couple of months for re-education on agricultural plantations. Even the World Bank, an organization suspicious of which only a madman can sympathize with ideas of social justice, admitted that in three years of leadership of Upper Volta, Sankara managed to virtually eliminate corruption in the country. For the African state it was a fantastic success, almost nonsense. Indeed, at this very time, the rulers of the neighboring countries plundered the national wealth of their homeland, organized the genocide of foreign tribesmen, bought luxury villas in the United States and Europe.

4 August 1984, the anniversary of the revolution, on the initiative of Sankara Upper Volta received a new name - Burkina Faso. This phrase encompasses the two most common languages ​​in the country - moor (mosi) and diola. In the language of the sea, “Burkina” means “Honest People” (or “Worthy People”), in the language of the dioule “Faso” - “Motherland”. Thus, the former French colony, named for the Volta River, became the homeland of decent people. On the emblem of Burkina Faso, a hoe and a Kalashnikov assault rifle, symbols of agricultural labor and the defense of their country, crossed. Under the hoe and machine gun there was an inscription "Homeland or death, we will win."



Sankara set about reforming the very foundations of the social and political structure of Burkinian society. In the first place, on the model of Cuba, whose experience Sankara admired, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution were organized. It seemed that these committees would assume the functions of not only the political organization of the Burkini people and lower administrative units, but also the general arming of the people.

While pursuing a revolutionary and essentially socialist policy, Thomas Sankara, at the same time, did not try to blindly copy the external attributes of the Soviet political system, which many African leaders sinned of "socialist orientation." One can hardly call him a Marxist-Leninist in the sense that the word was invested in the Soviet Union. Rather, the young officer from Burkina Faso was a supporter of the original political concept, adapting socialist ideals to the African folk traditions of social organization, economic and cultural living conditions on the African continent and specifically to Burkina Faso.

The concept of endogenous development - self-reliance

Thomas Sankara was inspired by the concept of endogenous development, that is, social, economic, political and sociocultural modernization of society based on its internal potential, its own resources and historical experience. One of the developers of this concept was the Burkinian professor-historian and philosopher Joseph Ki Zerbo. Within the framework of the concept of endogenous development, the role of the “creator of history” was assigned to the people. People were called to become active participants and authors of transformations. However, the concept of self-reliance did not mean isolationism in the spirit of the Juche idea. On the contrary, Sankara was ready to learn any positive experience of other societies, provided it adapted to the conditions of life in Burkina Faso.

The following key principles formed the basis of the policy of Thomas Sankar: self-reliance; mass participation of citizens in political life; the emancipation of women and their inclusion in the political process; transformation of the state into an instrument of social and economic transformations. The first national development plan, from October 1984 to December 1985, was adopted through the participation of residents of all localities in the country, with the financing of the plan for 100% from public funds - from 1985 to 1988. Burkina Faso did not receive any financial assistance from either France or the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.

Sankara sharply criticized international financial organizations and rejected any form of cooperation with them, rightly regarding the activities of the World Bank and the IMF on the African continent as neo-colonialist, contributing to the economic enslavement and preservation of the backwardness of the sovereign states of Africa. By the way, Sankara was extremely negative about the idea of ​​humanitarian assistance to developing countries, arguing that the latter only reinforces their further backwardness and teaches the parasitic existence of “professional beggars”, beneficial to the West, which seeks to continue the colonial policy of impeding the true development of sovereign states.

Thomas Sankara believed that the scientific, technological and economic possibilities of modern humanity can significantly facilitate the lives of billions of disadvantaged people on Earth. However, the predatory appetites of the world financial elite, the leaders of the major powers of the world, impede genuine social progress. Vincent Ouattara in an article on Thomas Sankar, stresses that he rejected any possibility of compromise with the neo-colonialist elites of the West, including he refused to participate in the Franco-African summit. (Ouattara V. Thomas Sankara: the revolutionary vision of Africa. Original: "Thomas Sankara: le révolutionnaire visionnaire de l'Afrique" de Vincent Ouattara.

During the year, 85% of assigned tasks were implemented, including the construction of 250 reservoirs and the drilling of 3000 wells. Solving the problem of water supply to Burkinian villages became one of the priority tasks, since Burkina Faso experienced more and more inconveniences every year due to the gradual onset of the Sahara. Desertification is a headache for the Sahel countries. In Burkina Faso, this was accompanied by a lack of access to the sea and the possibility of using desalinated water, as well as the drying up of river beds during the dry season. As a result, the country's agriculture suffered greatly, which led to crop failure, famine, and the mass exodus of peasants from villages to cities, with the subsequent formation of a large stratum of lumpen settled in urban slums. Therefore, the national project “Construction of wells” occupied such an important place in the modernization strategy of Sankara. It is indicative that, thanks to the efforts of the Sankaristic leadership, the water supply to Burkini villages and the increase in agricultural productivity have been greatly improved.

Burkina Faso achieved significant success during the years of Sankara’s rule and in the field of health care. The “Battle for Health” campaign was announced, as a result of which 2,5 of a million children were vaccinated against infectious diseases. The first among African leaders, Thomas Sankara, acknowledged the presence of AIDS and the need for its prevention. The infant mortality rates for several years of Sankara's rule have dropped from 280 children to 1000 (the world's highest rates) to 145 to 1000. Serious assistance in reforming the health care system in Burkina Faso was provided by Cuban doctors and medical assistants.

At the same time, Sankara proceeded to reform the education system. The course was taken to eradicate illiteracy, which was a serious problem in Burkina Faso. In accordance with the universal school education program, schoolchildren were trained in nine national languages ​​used by peoples living in Burkina Faso.

Finding your own path of development has always been relevant for countries that do not belong to Western European civilization. Most of them were imposed on modernization models that completely ignored the civilizational specifics of the same African continent and were unsuitable for this reason for practical implementation in African states. At the same time, reliance on domestic resources also meant a preferential refusal of foreign lending and the dominance of imported goods in the domestic market. “Imported rice, maize and millet are imperialism,” said Sankara. As a result of the goal of self-sufficiency in the country with food, Sankara managed to significantly modernize the Burkini agricultural sector in a relatively short time, primarily through the redistribution of land, assistance in land reclamation and supply of fertilizers to peasant farms.

The emancipation of women, previously oppressed and deprived of the practical possibility of participating in the social and political life of Burkina’s society, has also become one of the priority tasks of the social revolution in the country. As in the period of the Stalinist industrialization of the USSR, under the conditions of solving the problems of the rapid economic development of Burkina Faso, it would be impermissible folly to preserve the alienation of women from public life, thereby reducing the number of human resources involved in revolutionary politics. Moreover, in Burkina Faso, as in many other countries in West Africa, which were experiencing strong Islamic influence, women occupied a degraded position in society. Sankara prohibited the formerly common practice of female circumcision, forced early marriage, polygamy, and also tried in every way to attract women to work and even to military service. In the armed forces of Burkina Faso, a special women's battalion was even created during the years of Sankara’s rule.

It is noteworthy that an important place in the modernization strategy of Sankara was occupied by the issues of solving environmental problems facing Burkina Faso. Unlike the leaders of many other African countries, for whom nature and natural resources were only means of obtaining profit, mercilessly exploited and completely unprotected, Sankara carried out truly revolutionary measures in the field of environmental protection. First of all, a massive planting of trees was organized - the groves and forests were supposed to become a “living barrier” against the Sahara, to prevent desertification of land and the ensuing impoverishment of the peasant masses of the Sahel. All the layers and ages of the Burkini population were mobilized for planting trees, in fact planting trees was timed to virtually every significant event.

According to researcher Moussa Dembele, Sankara’s policy was the clearest attempt at democratization and social liberation on the African continent after decolonization. Sankara, according to Dembele, acted as the author of a genuine development paradigm for African societies, ahead of his time and entering history as the creator of an amazing experiment (Moussa Dembele. Thomas Sankara: an endogenous approach to development, 4 report of August 2013 on the 30th anniversary of the rise to power of Thomas Sankara Original: Demba Moussa Dembélé. Thomas Sankara: An Endogenous Approach to Development (Pambazuka News, 2013-10-23, Issue 651).

Sankara, Castro, Gaddafi

In foreign policy, Thomas Sankara, as it should have been supposed, adhered to a clear anti-imperialistic line. He was guided by the development of relations with the countries of socialist orientation. In particular, in 1987, Burkina Faso was visited by Fidel Castro himself - the legendary leader of the Cuban revolution. Cuba has greatly helped Burkina Faso in reforming the health care system and organizing the fight against serious infections, which before Sankara came to power, were a real threat to the life of the country's population. On the other hand, Sankara himself admired the Cuban revolution, the personalities of Castro and Che Guevara, clearly sympathizing with him more than the Soviet regime.

However, Thomas Sankara visited the Soviet Union. But, not refusing to cooperate with the Soviet state, unlike many other African leaders, he did not declare himself a Marxist-Leninist Soviet position and preferred to keep somewhat autonomous, with "self-reliance."

But the closest relations were connected by the Burkinian leader with the head of neighboring Ghana, Jerry Rawlings. Rawlings, like Sankara, was a young officer, not just a paratrooper, but a pilot who came to power as a result of the overthrow of the rotten regime of corrupt generals. In addition, he was distinguished by unpretentiousness and underlined simplicity in everyday life - he even lived separately from his family in the barracks, emphasizing his status as a soldier.

Rawlings and Sankara shared similar ideas for the future of the African continent - like hot patriots of their countries, they saw them free from the influence of foreign capital and democratically organized. Democracy was not the European-American parliamentarism, imposed on former colonies from Washington, Paris or London, but “democracy”, which consists in increasing the real participation of the masses in managing state and public life through popular committees, revolutionary committees and other structures of self-organization of the population.

The difficult question is the relationship of Thomas Sankara with the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. It is known that Gaddafi supported many revolutionary and anti-imperialist movements throughout the world - starting with the Irish Republican Army and ending with the Palestinian resistance movement. The leader of the Libyan Jamahiriya paid special attention to African revolutionaries.

The story of the relationship between Thomas Sankara and Muammar Gaddafi - the much more famous revolutionary, the “third way” theorist and pan-Africanist - began in 1981, when Sankara was appointed secretary of state for information under the ruling regime of Colonel Sei Zerbo. It was then that Libya opened its embassy in Ouagadougou, and after Sankara was appointed prime minister in 1983, after Jean Battista Oedraogo came to power, the relations of the two states only got stronger. Not without the support of Gaddafi and Ghanaian leader Jerry Rawlings, Sankara managed power in his own hands. Gaddafi’s visit to Ouagadougou in October 1985 caused a sharply negative reaction from the Western powers, who saw this as an encroachment on their own interests in West Africa.

However, in addition to revolutionary solidarity, Gaddafi pursued far more pragmatic interests of strengthening Libyan influence in West Africa, including economic. Perhaps it was Sankara’s awareness of this fact that led to a gradual deterioration in the relations between the two leaders and prompted Gaddafi to support Sankara’s political rivals. It is likely that Muammar and humanly felt jealous of the young and worthy leader of Burkina Faso, gaining popularity not only in his own country, but also abroad. Over time, Sankara became the favorite of the masses of the whole West Africa, and this could not but alarm Gaddafi, who wanted to see himself as a revolutionary leader and idol of African peoples.

Aguser war

A serious drawback of Sankara’s policy was the conflict with neighboring Mali that followed in 1985. The reason for the conflict was the controversy around the mineral-rich Agashersky strip on the border of both states. Mali has long claimed this territory. Actually, the first combat experience of the Voltai army created on November 21 of 1961, November 1974, is connected with it. Back in 1983, there was a brief conflict with Mali, in which lieutenants Thomas Sankara and Jean Baptiste Lingani, future leaders of the XNUMX revolution, participated as officers. This short-term conflict with Mali was averted by the intervention of the presidents of Guinea and Togo, Ahmad Sekou Toure and Gnassingbe Eyadema, as mediators. However, the fighting gave the opportunity to advance and gain prestige in the army and society a number of junior officers of the Voltai army, who distinguished themselves during battles with their superior enemy.

Re-conflict broke out in the 1985 year. When a population census was conducted in Burkina Faso, Burkina census takers accidentally crossed the Malian border and entered the nomad-Fulbe camp. In response, Mali accused Burkina Faso of violating its territorial integrity. 25 December 1985 of the Year of the Agusher War began, which lasted five days. During this time, the Malian troops managed to push back the Burkinian army and occupy the territory of several villages. At the same time about three hundred people died. The war stirred up the countries of West and North Africa. Libya and Nigeria intervened, trying to take on the role of intermediaries, but they did not manage to stop the bloodshed. More successful were the efforts of Côte d'Ivoire’s President, Félix Houphouet-Boigny. 30 December, the parties ceased hostilities.

The war with Mali revealed significant shortcomings in Sankara’s military policy. The president of decent people, conducting his social reforms, underestimated the processes taking place in the country's armed forces. Colonel Charles Ouattara Lona wrote an article entitled “The Need for Military Reform”, in which, as a soldier and historian, he assessed the policy of Sankara in the military sphere (C. Ouattara Lona. The need for military reform. Original: Colonel Ouattara Lona Charles. De la nécessité de réformer l'armée L'Observateur Lundi, 03 Septembre 2012).

Thomas Sankara sought to revolutionize the country's defense system, relying on the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. Considering that “a soldier without political education is a potential criminal,” Sankara sought to democratize the control system of the armed forces and at the same time to political enlightenment of soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers. The committees for the defense of the revolution were to organize the general arming of the people, and the people's militia, the People’s National Service (SERNAPO), should supplement the army, gradually replacing it with itself. During the struggle for power, Sankara eliminated many high-ranking and experienced officers of the old Voltaic army, who held “right-wing” and pro-Western views. Part of the survivors of repression, but not agree with the policy of Sankara, was forced to emigrate. The weakening of the armed forces significantly complicated the situation of Burkina Faso during the next border conflict with Mali in 1985.

The killing of Sankara and the return of neo-colonialism

At the same time, Sankara’s social policy caused considerable discontent among a part of the country's officer corps. Many officers, who began serving before Sankara came to power, were not pleased with the minimization of the cost of maintaining civil servants and the attempt to transfer the defense and security functions to the revolutionary committees. Dissatisfaction with Sankara's course penetrated his inner circle as well. But the main role in the formation of antisankrist sentiments was played by the policies of a number of foreign states.

First of all, the Sankara regime was extremely dissatisfied with Western countries, especially the former metropolis - France and the United States of America, who were also concerned about the success of the "self-reliance" policy and the refusal of the imposed help of US-controlled credit organizations. Under the patronage of France, there was even a conference of countries that were neighbors of Burkina Faso, which adopted an appeal to Sankara demanding an end to social policy. On the other hand, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, influential in West Africa, was increasingly cool towards Sankara’s policy. The latter, like the countries of the West, was not satisfied with the excessive independence of the Burkini leader, his course toward "own strength" and opposition to attempts to subordinate the country's economy to foreign influence.

Muammar Gaddafi began to pay more and more attention to Sankara's closest associate since his participation in the “Group of Communist Officers” - captain Blaise Compaore. In the government of Sankara, Compaore served as Minister of Justice. Although this man also began as a patriot and revolutionary, he seemed more compliant and compliant. In other words, it was always possible to agree with him. Compaore and satisfied the West, including France. Ultimately, Blaise Compaore led the conspiracy to overthrow the “captain of decent people.”

One of the advisers to Compaore on the issue of organizing an armed rebellion was the Liberian warlord Charles Taylor. Subsequently, this man as a result of the civil war in Liberia managed to come to power and establish a bloody dictatorship, but today he is a prisoner of the Hague international prison. At the Taylor trial, his closest associate, Prince Johnson, confirmed that it was Taylor who was the author of the plan to overthrow Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso.

By the way, the Liberian Taylor and the Minister of Justice of Burkina Faso Compaore were introduced to none other than the Libyan Jamahiriya leader Muammar Gaddafi. In an effort to extend his influence over Liberia and Sierra Leone with their diamond mines, Gaddafi relied on Charles Taylor, but the latter needed the support of other West African countries in the event of the start of a full-scale civil war in Liberia. Blaise Compaore promised to give such support, but for this it was necessary to ensure his coming to power in Burkina Faso. Thomas Sankara, who did not initially object to helping Taylor, spoke out against the training of Liberian militants in Burkina Faso. Accordingly, Taylor had strong motives for complicity in the overthrow of Sankara and the seizure of power by Blaise Compaore.

Bruno Joffre in his article “What do we know about the murder of Sankar?” Does not deny the likely involvement of not only Compaor and Taylor with the support of Gaddafi, but also of the West, primarily French and American special services. In the end, Taylor himself began a political career with the help of the CIA, and the United States could not arrange the policy of Sankara by definition (Joffre B. What do we know about Sankara's murder? Original: "Que sait-on sur l'assassinat de Sankara?" de Bruno Jaffré).

October 15 1987, Thomas Sankara arrived at the meeting of the National Revolutionary Council for a meeting with his supporters. At that moment they were attacked by armed men. These were the Burkinian special forces, commanded by Gilbert Diedendere, who headed the special forces training center in the city of Pau - the very one who was once headed by Sankara himself.

The thirty-eight-year-old captain Thomas Sankara and twelve of his comrades were shot and buried in a mass grave. The wife and two children of the murdered revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso were forced to flee the country. There is information that at the last moment his friend, the leader of Ghana and a no less worthy revolutionary, Jerry Rawlings, learned about the conspiracy being prepared against Thomas Sankara. The plane was already ready for departure with Ghanaian special forces who were ready to fly to Ouagadougou to defend the “captain of decent people,” but it turned out too late ...

Blaise Compaore came to power - a man who committed one of the greatest sins: betrayal and killing a friend. Naturally, the first thing Compaore, who verbally declared himself the heir to the revolutionary course, began to wind down all the achievements of the four-year rule of Thomas Sankara. First of all, the nationalization of the country's enterprises was abolished, access to foreign capital was opened.

Compaore also proceeded to the return of privileges and high salaries to officials, senior officers of the army and police, on which he planned to rely on his board. With funds that Sankara collected for a special fund for the improvement of the slums of the capital of Ouagadougou, the new president bought himself a private jet. The reaction of the West was not long in coming. France and the United States gladly acknowledged the new president of Burkina Faso, fully satisfying their interests in West Africa.

Burkina Faso was granted an IMF loan of 67 million dollars, although Sankara at one time categorically denied the need to use loans from foreign financial institutions. Gradually, all the gains of the social experiment undertaken by Sankara are a thing of the past, and Burkina Faso has become a typical African country with total poverty of the population, lack of social programs, completely subordinated to foreign companies by the economy. By the way, Blaise Compaore remains the president of the country for the last 27 years, but such a long period of being in power does not bother his French and American friends - "defenders of democracy."
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    1. builder
      builder 5 August 2014 07: 10
      +5
      Write the article itself.
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. The comment was deleted.
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      5. Turik
        Turik 6 August 2014 13: 03
        +1
        Lucky Africa for the crazy dictators.
        The subject of this article is a rare and perhaps the only exception.

        Most often, they were ruled by rare blacks from whom both the West and the USSR were awesome. But nevertheless, both of them collaborated, supplied food and weapons for local fighters for the "Truly People's, Genuinely Democratic-Socialist Revolutions." Of course, not for free, but for votes in the UN House.

        Watch the movie "The Armory Baron". There, the most intelligible and extremely frankly told about that wild and creepy crap that has been going on in these countries for 30-40 years.

        Or you can read an article on Wikipedia about the "Second Congolese War" - 6 million killed in 3-4 years in a poor country with a salary of (ATTENTION!) 50 Cents in DAY. Few people know about it, then Iran and Iraq were well known.
  2. sv68
    sv68 5 August 2014 07: 05
    +7
    most of all I liked their emblem, the people chose our machine as a symbol of freedom
  3. parusnik
    parusnik 5 August 2014 07: 13
    +5
    Thomas Sankara-African Che Guevara ... so he was also called ..
    1. Sol_jah
      Sol_jah 7 August 2014 15: 02
      0
      Legendary personality
  4. atalef
    atalef 5 August 2014 07: 14
    .
    The article is somehow left, neither analysis nor conclusions
    So why was Sankara better than Kampaore? Under Kampaore, did life become worse? In general, the message of the article seems to be like - they threw off Sankara to give a loan laughing
    Sankara made one military coup, Kampaore - the other-- betrayed a friend (well, at least he ate - like Bokassa)
    Burkina Faso is the poorest country in the world, neither in a strategic position nor in minerals - she lived in poverty under one thing (by the way, a stronghold on her own resources - a little author is disingenuous - Cuba helped, it’s interesting though, due to what? was in debt as in silk)
    The article is frankly weak, aimed at idiots-- who, having seen the word Africa, credit and the IMF, immediately start yelling about neocolonialism and the Yankees go !!!
    Although the same Taylor was convicted in The Hague-- where did the legs of the article come from? What newspaper? Minus weak
    1. Alexander Romanov
      Alexander Romanov 5 August 2014 07: 18
      +2
      Quote: atalef
      The article is frankly weak, aimed at idiots-- who, having seen the word Africa, credit and the IMF, immediately start yelling about neocolonialism and the Yankees go !!!

      Sanya, what urakalki, who needs this stunted Africa now. There are five minutes of warrior everywhere, and there is a fever. The more amers there are, the better, quicker rest.
      Because you give the Yankees to Africa -Ebola is waiting for youwassat
      1. STALGRAD76
        STALGRAD76 5 August 2014 09: 42
        +6
        Well, yes, it’s easier to squeeze oneself, you’ll bother to think about Africa where it is and where we are, and do you know how many hundreds of thousands of people have been turned by the world pigeon of the UN into guzzling and bamboos, artificially for decades, sheep have been made of people living in special camps and who and in what barbarous way extracts minerals from the continent and drives the local population into poverty, and the ecology of the continent .......
      2. Nikolav
        Nikolav 5 August 2014 10: 08
        +7
        I do not agree. The article is actually about Sankara. Worthy was a man.
        "Sankara was extremely negative about the idea of ​​humanitarian aid to developing countries, arguing that the latter only reinforces their further backwardness and teaches them to the parasitic existence of" professional beggars ", which is beneficial to the West, which is striving to continue its colonial policy of hindering the true development of sovereign states." And this man lived in backward Africa and understood this. And in European Ukraine, parasitic existence has become a way of life. If you want, a brand of Ukrainian politics without any hope of recovery.
        1. atalef
          atalef 5 August 2014 11: 35
          -3
          Quote: Nicholas
          The article is actually about Sankara. Worthy was a man.

          Sorry - a worthy person is good, but this is not a profession. It’s beautiful to be proud of riding Renault 5 if your people are thriving. But you were elected (more precisely, nobody elected him in general, but he seized power) not so that you would boast of your silver-freeness (but to ensure that people began to live better and attracting loans is not the worst. Half of the people have a mortgage or business development loans. Is it bad or good?
          You can say - I do not want loans and continue to live in a hut or sharpen another ring on a 1950 machine tool.
          And you can take a loan, work and live in a normal apartment and work on the CNC machine and produce 10 times more products of better quality and with 10 times the productivity --- paying both a loan and a decent life
          It’s hard to take on obligations - this is another matter, but you took power precisely to take responsibility, and not to say --- I am as poor as you all, but we do not owe anyone.
          A loan is normal, loans provide an opportunity for advancement, you just need to work --- but apparently it was not very desirable
          Quote: Nicholas
          striving to continue the colonial policy of hindering the true development of sovereign states. "

          Well, he did not take loans, and how? They began to live better (of course, not everything was so bad in his reign, he achieved the equal rights of women, a program to combat illiteracy, etc.) - but where is that middle ground?
          A literate beggar - not much better than an illiterate beggar.
          The rule of idealists and romantics - as a rule, ends badly for themselves and for the country.
          His personal failure is because of the problems that he created for himself and there is nothing to do with loans
          1. Devildog85
            Devildog85 5 August 2014 12: 15
            +4
            Among the tasks set by Sankara are the elimination of hunger, the creation of a system of free education and health care, the fight against epidemics and corruption, reforestation in the desert (during the years of his presidency 10 million trees were planted to stop the spread of Sahara sands to the south). The largest campaign was the vaccination against infectious diseases of 2,5 million children during the "Battle for Health", carried out with the help of Cuban volunteers (not only the entire territory of Burkina Faso was covered, but also the border areas of neighboring countries). As a result, infant mortality rates, which were previously the highest in the world (280 deaths per 1000 newborns), decreased to 145 out of 1000 [11]. Sankara is also credited with housing programs, writing off debts to small tenants, canceling the poll tax, the Alpha literacy campaign in nine local languages, a road infrastructure development program, and combating river blindness and other local diseases.

            One of the first decisions of the revolutionary government was the deprivation of tribal leaders of privileges and property, the abolition of payment of tribute to them and compulsory work-offs for peasants. During the agrarian reform, the plots belonging to the feudal landowners were redistributed in favor of the peasants who worked them. As a result, over three years, wheat productivity increased from 1700 to 3800 kg per hectare, which allowed the country to reach self-sufficiency in food. Instead of the archaic structure of tribal power, on the Cuban example, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution were created - mass organizations within the framework of which the armament of the people was carried out. Along with the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, the sovereignty of the army, consolidated in Upper Volta during the years of military coups, was also limited by the people's militia SERNAPO (Service National et Populaire). The central army store, where officers sold scarce goods at low prices, reorganized the country's first state-owned supermarket, open to all.

            Tom Sankara proclaimed the cause of the revolution inseparable from the issue of the liberation of women. His government included a significant number of women, which had previously been unprecedented in West Africa. Women in Burkina Faso were finally equalized with men and gained access to education. Sankara encouraged women to join the army and created a women's motorcycle guard unit. To ensure women's rights, the barbaric custom of female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and polygamy were banned. In the first year of the revolution, a “day of solidarity” took place, when the men were ordered to cook dinner and go to the market to experience the “delights” of the female share. Contraception began to spread in Burkina Faso, and the Sankara government was the first in Africa to officially recognize the AIDS epidemic, considering it a serious threat to African peoples
          2. Devildog85
            Devildog85 5 August 2014 12: 17
            +5
            No difference right? But in Iraq, democracy, yes, and in Libya. Why so hypocritical? Or can a Jew not understand kindness and selflessness? People like Sankara cannot be found right now - alas ...
          3. Nikolav
            Nikolav 5 August 2014 12: 49
            +2
            Yes, a worthy person is really not a profession. This is a man who is worthy of respect. Just like a bastard is not a profession, but a state of mind. Each has its own economic theories, which they consider to be the only correct one.

            "His personal failure is because of the problems that he created for himself and loans have nothing to do with it"
            The failure is that he was killed by enemies?
            Well, here’s what happened after him. I quote the last paragraph.

            "Burkina Faso was provided with an IMF loan of $ 67 million, although Sankara at one time categorically denied the need to use loans from foreign financial organizations. Gradually, all the gains of the social experiment undertaken by Sankara became a thing of the past, and Burkina Faso turned into a typical African country with total poverty of the population, lack of social programs, economy completely subordinate to foreign companies.By the way, Blaise Compaoré has been the president of the country for the last 27 years, but such a long term in power does not bother his French and American friends - “defenders of democracy”.

            Without it, everything worked out as you wanted.
          4. Net
            Net 5 August 2014 18: 02
            +2
            Do you know on what terms loans are granted to banana republics? No need to be so naive: took a loan - bought a machine - earned 10 times more - gave a loan. Or the IMF, the European Bank and other structures are so eager to take care of the poor former Upper Volta that they will give loans to the right and don. The article clearly states what the result was - the admission of foreign capital, and what much better did Aborigines live from this? There are no such examples. If a bank, bankers enslave the country, then this is not the fault of the supposedly lazy local population. And do not imagine world capital as a poor sheep. In the USA, it is also evident that unpaid consumer loans did not work as a result of the global economic crisis. I also know other stories from antiquity when moneylenders soldered Russian peasants in their tires and sucked in a loan for the future harvest. The result is known.
          5. Zuborez
            Zuborez 5 August 2014 19: 51
            +1
            If the equipment is 10 times more productive, it is not a fact that the worker is 10 times richer.
            Moreover, you can put a robot.
            And how Israeli comrades painfully perceive loans)).
          6. Wheel
            Wheel 5 August 2014 23: 39
            0
            Quote: atalef
            Well, he did not take loans, and how? They began to live better (of course, not everything was so bad in his reign, he achieved the equal rights of women, a program to combat illiteracy, etc.) - but where is that middle ground?
            A literate beggar - not much better than an illiterate beggar.

            No, well, of course I understand, Usury is a national profession, but here such a bummer - it does not take loans! laughing
            It’s funny, but they began to live better without loans, self-sufficient in wheat, for example, stopped the onset of the desert, built roads ...
            Note that this is for 4 years.
            And if they had taken out loans, they would have eaten them up and would have been in debt, like in silks, which, incidentally, happened under his "successor". But the "successor" is not a beggar. Almost everyone else is beggars ...
            And for everything else, do not give an example when the allocation of an IMF loan led to the prosperity of someone?
          7. Grumbler
            Grumbler 13 August 2014 01: 47
            0
            For 5 years, it would have been unlikely that anyone would have done more, and hardly would have done. What Sankara did wrongly distracted from reality more than he should and felt that everything around him was the same as him. And he did not strengthen the army, but destroyed it. For which he paid. And the loans ... He didn’t take them correctly, why strengthen his enemies. Here, how? You work, and the other gets richer))
    2. boris117
      boris117 5 August 2014 13: 49
      +2
      There is grain in the article and what can we learn. For two years, Thomas Sankara has dealt with government corruption. An example to follow and study experience. This person is a worthy example of serving his homeland. In our government there are many miserable silk-workers sitting under the skirt of their wives and are mainly engaged in enrichment. For more people of honor and dignity in our government, our Duma. People - for whom service to the motherland is above all. As head of government, Thomas Sankara is worthy of respect. It is necessary to value honor and dignity, the ability of all to give oneself to the service of the homeland, and not one's own belly. It would be necessary to adopt a law on honor and dignity in the civil service. And officials who have lost these qualities and exchanged everything for money should be subjected to civil execution and deprived of the opportunity to work in state institutions for life, and his pension must be social. This applies to teachers, doctors too. In the civil service, honor, dignity, competence - these are the criteria that should be fundamental for career growth
    3. alicante11
      alicante11 5 August 2014 15: 10
      +3
      So why was Sankara better than Kampaore?


      Of course, the Jewish capitalists cannot understand that this man apparently pursued a social policy aimed at improving the lives of ordinary people and undermining the capitalist foundations. Well, in fact, the article contains the secretive affairs of this person. Open your eyes.

      Under Kampaore, did life become worse?


      Steel. But in 4 years, even Stalin did not pull out the USSR. Not like Burkina Fasso.

      Cuba helped, I wonder the truth, due to what?


      You should read the article at least before commenting. Cuba helped with doctors and medical volunteers.
  5. pinecone
    pinecone 5 August 2014 07: 16
    +3
    Quote: Aslan
    And what the hell is there more to write about?


    "There is a lie in a fairy tale, but there is a hint in it, a lesson for good fellows." And then you look, and we have some kind of spetsnaz officer emerge.
    1. Bayonet
      Bayonet 5 August 2014 07: 28
      0
      Quote: pinecone
      And then you look, and we have some sort of special forces officer emerges.

      And we will have a big banana republic!
      1. mazhnikof.Niko
        mazhnikof.Niko 5 August 2014 08: 11
        +2
        Quote: Bayonet
        Quote: pinecone And you look, and we will have some sort of special forces officer emerge. And we will have a big banana republic!


        FSB special forces officer? And why the republic WILL be? Now that we have a MONARCHY? Somehow you, Comrade Colonel-General, did not think too much about your opinion. Disregard for the officer corps of RUSSIA is felt. What did the OFFICERS OF RUSSIA do for you? Are you not one of the liberals, for an hour? Do not despise the officers of RUSSIA - among the DEKABRISTS, there were a lot of Russian officers, however, it was not the officers who made Russia "banana". I have the honor!
  6. AlNikolaich
    AlNikolaich 5 August 2014 07: 20
    +5
    So, revolutions create romance, and enjoy the results
    scum ... World capital will never allow an independent
    politics ... Where is Gaddafi and Hussein now? Only Cuba and Syria
    hold on!
    1. Deathdoor
      Deathdoor 5 August 2014 07: 45
      +3
      Well, Gaddafi and Hussein were by no means romantics (except for Gaddafi), and their hands were smeared with blood, but the fact that without them it only got worse is a fact.
  7. 54RG3
    54RG3 5 August 2014 07: 38
    +4
    It is very informative that the experience of developing a country without the participation of neocolonial intervention and an independent policy will be useful to us. For me personally, Africa is a generally unknown continent. Put a plus.
  8. Deathdoor
    Deathdoor 5 August 2014 07: 43
    +6
    Sankara showed what a real ruler should be like, who really cares about his country and people, and not his pocket. Especially in a region like Africa, where any change of power begins with looting and personal enrichment.
    And, unfortunately, people like Sankara will always be victims of the betrayal of their "friends", they are too "inconvenient" for those in power.
  9. The comment was deleted.
  10. demotivator
    demotivator 5 August 2014 07: 55
    +5
    Quote: Aslan
    And what the hell is there more to write about?

    The creator of the state with such an exotic name "Homeland of honest people" is the poorest president on the planet. There was, of course. But this is not the main thing. Look at his reforms and concrete steps. The president lived on an army captain's salary of $ 450 per month, and the presidential salary of $ 2000 transferred to an orphan fund (after the overthrow and murder of Sankara, it turned out that his personal property consisted of an old Peugeot car, bought before coming to power, a refrigerator with broken freezer, three guitars and four bicycles). One of the first innovations of his government was the publication of the income and accounts of all government officials.
    Moreover, Sankara forbade the installation of air conditioning in his office, because he was “ashamed of people who do not have such luxury,” and refused to authorize the hanging of his portraits in public places and offices due to the fact that “in our country there are people like me , seven million". The entire government fleet was sold, which consisted of Mercedes cars, instead of which Renault 5, the cheapest cars in the country at that time, was purchased for the needs of ministers. Sankara cut the salaries of officials, and also forbade them to use personal chauffeurs and fly on first-class air tickets. Officials were required to change their expensive western costumes to a traditional cotton tunic sewn by local residents. On New Year's Eve, administrators were required to pay a monthly salary in favor of social funds. Having fired half the cabinet once, Sankara sent them to collective farms - to work on the land, "where they will be more useful." Three years after Sankara came to power (in 1986), the World Bank states that corruption has been eradicated in Burkina Faso.
    The largest campaign was the vaccination against infectious diseases of 2,5 million children during the “Battle for Health”, carried out with the help of Cuban volunteers (not only the entire territory of Burkina Faso was covered, but also the border areas of neighboring countries). As a result, infant mortality rates, the highest in the world (280 deaths per 1000 newborns), fell to 145 out of 1000. Sankara is also credited with housing programs, debt relief for small tenants, cancellation of the poll tax, “Alpha campaign” for literacy in nine local languages; a road infrastructure development program; combating river blindness and other local diseases.
    In general, if we continue further, then another article will turn out.
    1. robinson
      robinson 5 August 2014 08: 17
      +7
      Quote: demotivator
      In general, if we continue further, then another article will turn out.

      I think not an article, a book.
      The bottom line is that this is the only known person, at least to me. who did a lot of good without doing almost anything bad. Actually, he showed how it should be, that he would be killed, judging by his speeches, knew 100%, but such people, apparently, have different priorities.
      It is unfortunate that all this happened at a time when the USSR was not in the best shape, and perhaps everything would have been completely different, and not only in Africa.
  11. Rigla
    Rigla 5 August 2014 07: 59
    -1
    mini-Ukraine in the future
  12. A1L9E4K9S
    A1L9E4K9S 5 August 2014 09: 09
    -1
    Quote: Alexander Romanov
    Sanya, what urakalki, who needs this stunted Africa now. There are five minutes of warrior everywhere, and there is a fever. The more amers there are, the better, quicker rest.
    Because you give the Yankees to Africa -Ebola is waiting for you


    Well, Alexander, well, the namesake, just guessed my thoughts about Africa, I wrote almost such a comment about Equatorial Guinea, we have nothing to do in Africa (for now), there are enough worries at home.
  13. tolancop
    tolancop 5 August 2014 09: 38
    +2
    Strange, but just a few days ago I remembered him. More precisely, the material about him in the weekly "Abroad" in the mid-80s. True, he was referred to in "ZR" as "Toma Sankara", and the main topic of the article was about his work on clearing rubble. And the man, apparently, was not a mistake, he knew how to work. As an example, it was cited that he was able to establish such a record of all humanitarian aid arriving in the country that only 3 or 5 bags of the total amount received were missing. IMHO, the result is fantastic.
  14. dzau
    dzau 5 August 2014 12: 00
    +4
    Quote: tolancop
    the result is fantastic

    There is no miracle. Actually only common sense.

    The Soviet industrial period was essentially no different: reliance on its own citizens - and this requires efforts to form a "healthy" stereotype of behavior.

    In our country, all educational and upbringing (namely real, and not "anyhow, but there was a Schaub") programs de facto, like a quarter of a century, have been curtailed.

    And the reliance on those who consume food and produce * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * No society has ever led anything good to think of dib * fishing with their own heads.
  15. buzer
    buzer 5 August 2014 13: 29
    0
    it’s hard to be both an idealist and a pragmatist !!! Especially in Africa ...
  16. Volxov
    Volxov 5 August 2014 14: 26
    -2
    There are 2 systems in the world - the Nazis tried to gain a foothold in Upper Volta through Sankara, the Zionists overthrew them and gave credit, but they still scold Sankara even here in the comments. If there was access to the sea, they would build an underground port for transport submarines, but without access to the sea they didn’t rest, they left the country to the Zionists. Blacks do not know what is happening, the Black Knight with his round table of 12 people died.
    "Russians" are fundamentally no better than blacks - the same resource of systems with the illusion of an independent state and the same main problem - the brain turned off by propaganda, and to a greater extent because of the vertical of control. A third system, independent of Nazism and Zionism, could help to move from war to development, but to think about it, you need to turn on the brain - wars and disasters can help.
  17. Free wind
    Free wind 5 August 2014 14: 54
    +1
    Indeed, this man is very rare in Africa. most of the coups, only robbed and killed, and sometimes they ate their opponents. And here a man took care of the life of ordinary people. and unfortunately cruelly paid for it.
  18. Pazifist87
    Pazifist87 8 August 2014 10: 55
    0
    Author, very interesting articles on the history of African countries. Write more.
  19. Patricklymn
    Patricklymn 17 September 2014 23: 22
    0
    MigCredit Financial Organization provides microfinance services for Russian residents with a bad history
    https://vk.com/club40524903