Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Categories: Africa | Conflict | History | Nations

Once the African state of Burkina Faso was called Upper Volta and was an overseas territory of France. In the late 50s, Paris gave the former colony nominal independence, but continued to control the economy and foreign policy of the country, which, thanks to the efforts of the French, remained poor and corrupt.

Everything changed with the coming to power in Upper Volta of the young president Tom Sankar. He went down in history as the most honest president, but his own life became the price for trying to free the people from poverty.

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Toma Sankara was born into a mixed family. His father came from the Mosi people, and his mother from the Fulbe tribe. By African standards, he was a half-breed and belonged to the "third-class" people. However, his father, who worked as a French gendarme, was an influential man, which allowed Him to get a good education by local standards. His parents wanted the boy to become a Catholic priest, but he was attracted by military service.

In 1968, 19-year-old Tom Sankara put on shoulder straps. In the army, the guy was noticed and sent to study at an officer's school on the island of Madagascar. There he became acquainted with the ideas of Marxism and became an ardent supporter of "African socialism". After returning to Volta, Toma joined an elite paratrooper squad and participated in battles against the army of neighboring Mali.

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Tom Sankara's officer plays the guitar

In the capital of the country, Gugu Sankara became a popular personality. He is an educated officer, writes poetry, rides a motorcycle through the streets and plays guitar in the band "Tout-a-Coup Jazz". Since 1976, Toma headed the training center of the Volta special forces and together with friends created a revolutionary organization, which he called the "Group of Communist Officers".

In the fall of 1981, Tom Sankar was introduced into the military government, appointed Minister of Information. He arrived at the first meeting on a bicycle. As a result of the 1982 coup, Toma Sankara becomes prime minister, but his left-wing views frighten the French, who continue to control the economy of Upper Volta. Sankara is removed from his post and is placed under house arrest.

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Poor people from the suburbs of Ouagadougou are coming to the defense of the Prime Minister, who are raising an uprising. In August 1982, the military also decided to support Sankara. Tom is released by the metropolitan garrison led by his friend Blaise Compaore, who was the vocalist in the band "Tout-a-Coup Jazz".

The new president announces a "Revolution of Honor", during which he is going to defeat corruption, hunger, disease and illiteracy. Sankara cancels the tribute from the people to the tribal leaders and the income tax of the peasants, provides the poor with access to food. Women were equal in rights with men, polygamy and the barbaric custom of circumcision of the genitals of girls were prohibited.

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Toma Sankara and his friend and liberator Blaise Compaore

Children of Burkina Faso received 2.5 million vaccinations against common diseases in the region, unfair debts were written off to small tenants, 10 million trees were planted on the border with the desert to stop the advance of the sands of the Sahara.

Sankara established an authoritarian regime, took control of the media, dismissed those who disagreed with his policies, but remained popular among the poor and especially women. He forced officials to wear locally made clothes and passed a law on the disclosure of the income of state managers.

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friendThe president of the "land of the incorruptible" on August 4, 1985 next to his Renault 5 car

The president sold government Mercedes cars and transferred officials to the cheapest Renault-5 cars. Sankara refused to install an air conditioner in his office, saying that he was ashamed in front of the people who did not have such luxury available. He also forbade them to hang their portraits everywhere.

Due to an unsuccessful foreign policy and confrontation with its neighbors, Burkina Faso was isolated. This led to a drop in economic growth. The president begins to make mistakes and his rating within the country falls. Sankara is opposed by his friend Blaise Compaore, who at one time released him from arrest. As Minister of Justice, he establishes contact with the French and on October 15, 1987, arranges a coup.

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Tom Sankara a few months before the coup

Sankara knew that they wanted to kill him, but he refused to deal with his friend. The president himself came out to meet the paratroopers storming the government building. The military shot Sankara and twenty of his closest supporters. Their bodies were dismembered and buried in an unknown place. Tom's wife and two sons ran away. At the time of his death, the leader of the" land of the incorruptible " had property in the form of three guitars, four bicycles and a Peugeot car.

The first decision of the new president Blaise Compaore was the purchase of a personal Boeing aircraft. Several prisons for political prisoners were built in the country, executions of dissenters began, salaries of officials were increased, and the tax on medicine was canceled.

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Blaise Compaore at a meeting with US President George W. Bush

France called the arrival of Compaore "democratization", and in 1991, elections were held in Burkina Faso, in which 7% of the country's population participated. The current president received 100% of the votes and a loan from the IMF for $ 67 million. According to the amended constitution, Compaore received almost unlimited power.

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friend

Portrait of Tom Sankar on the wall in the capital of Burkina Faso, Telugu

And do not forget that Sankara was not only a military man and a politician, but also a musician: he wrote good songs, some of which are still performed by hot left-wing radical groups from Burkina Faso

Toma Sankara is the only honest president in history who was killed by his best friendFor African youth, Sankara has become something like Che Guevars of the Black Continent

Remembering the leader of the country, who remained in the memory of the people as a worthy honest person, we should not forget the former president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica. Despite his high position, he lived modestly and gave 90% of his salary to charity.

Keywords: Burkina Faso | Betrayal | President | Presidents | Revolution | Reforms | Socialism

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