General Gilbert Diendere, who led a failed coup attempt in September this year, has been formally charged for complicity in the 1987 murder of President Thomas Sankara, Al Jazeera reported.

“General Gilbert Diendere is formally charged in the Thomas Sankara case,” a senior security source with direct knowledge of the case said, adding Diendere had been charged last month.


According to the report, Mathieu Some, Diendere’s lawyer, said on Sunday that his client had been charged over Sankara’s death and he would prepare his legal defence. The charges are yet to be made public.

Sankara's murder is one of the most high-profile killings in Africa's post-independence history

Ten other individuals, have already been charged, Reuters reported. The senior security official said most were soldiers in the elite presidential guard of former President Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in October 2014.


Sankara’s murder is one of the most high-profile killings in Africa’s post-independence history and the charge against General Gilbert Diendere appears to represent a breakthrough in a case that has haunted the West African country for decades.

The charge follows a pledge by the transitional government to investigate the murder and a decision in May to exhume the remains of a body believed to be Sankara’s, which was buried at a cemetery on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou.