Justice On Trial: Courts & Commissions In West Africa

Former Chief of Staff of the Presidency, General Gilbert Diendéré, who took the responsibility for the coup, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Alongside him, General Djibril Bassolé, head of diplomacy of the Blaise Compaoré government, was sentenced to ten years in prison.

This verdict constitutes both a judicial revolution and a normative shift within the military. For the ërst time in the political history of Burkina Faso, which has been marked by a series of coups d'etat and military regimes, a coup attempt was ruled on in a court of law. The court's ruling goes some way to demonstrating the independence of the judiciary, and signals a break from the old order. This positive development is particularly welcome in the current context; characterised by a security crisis and rapidly approaching elections scheduled for November 2020.

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