The former president made the apology following the court verdict that sentenced him to life imprisonment for his role in the 1987 assassination of Thomas Sankara. Blaise Compaoré was tried and convicted in absentia after the court found him guilty of killing the African icon and his close friend, Sankara.
After the verdict was passed, Blaise Compaoré apologized to the Sankara family and pleaded for forgiveness from the people of Burkina Faso. His apology was conveyed in a message read by the spokesman to the government of Burkina Faso, Lionel Bilgo.
"I ask the Burkinabe people for forgiveness for all the acts I may have committed during my tenure, and especially the family of my brother and friend Thomas Sankara.
"I take responsibility for, and regret from the bottom of my heart, all the suffering and tragedies experienced by all victims during my terms as leader of the country and ask their families to grant me their forgiveness," the statement read.
You will recall that Compaoré seized power in the West African nation during the October 15, 1987 coup that assassinated the serving president of the country, Thomas Sankara.
The needless killing of Thomas Sankara remains a shock to millions of people to this day. This is because Blaise Compaoré was a close friend and comrade in arms to Sankara. Moreover, the assassination further fuelled the speculation that the coup party was actually a hit squad supported by the colonial powers to kill Sankara.
Thomas Sankara was a fiery Marxist-Leninist who stood against western operations in Africa. He accused them of neocolonialism and hypocrisy and is regarded to date as one of the greatest African leaders of all time. He was gunned down by a hit squad little more than four years after coming to power as an army captain aged just 33.
Although Blaise Compaoré fled to Ivory Coast, where he has since picked up a new citizenship status after he was ousted from office in 2014, he was tried in absentia. He has been found guilty of the crimes, but the Ivorian authorities have refused to extradite him, which means that he is yet to serve his prison sentence.
However, there are reports that he did return to Burkina Faso for several days in early July this year on the invitation of the country's military leader Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, for a "national reconciliation." He was not arrested during his visit to Burkina Faso and was allowed to return to Ivory Coast.
The visit sparked an outcry among civil society groups and political parties, who said uniting the nation should not come with immunity from punishment.
In his response, Compaoré expressed his "deep gratitude" to Burkina Faso's military-dominated transitional government. He also called on his compatriots to join "a sacred union, tolerance, moderation, but above all forgiveness so that the national interest prevails".
Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba took power in January this year through a coup that ousted former president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré amid widespread anger at the government's failure to deal with a bloody jihadist insurgency that spread from neighbouring Mali in 2015.
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