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Africa

Burkina leader Kaboré wants France to extradite ex-president's brother

media Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré at the UN in September AFP/Timothy A. Clary

Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has called for France to extradite the brother of his ousted predecessor, despite the fact that the death penalt still exists in his country.

François Compaoré, 63, was detained late last month at Paris's Charles De Gaulle airport under an arrest warrant filed by Burkina Faso relating to the killing of journalist Norbert Zongo and three companions.

"I already consider it a major victory that the arrest warrant has been executed on French territory," President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré said in an interview with RFI and other French media outlets in Ouagadougou.

But a French court may refuse the extradition request because Burkina Faso has the death penalty.

"Even if it's legal, the death penalty is not applied in Burkina Faso," Kaboré commented, adding that it has been more than 20 years since anyone has been implemented.

French President Emmanuel Macron is to visit Burkina Faso on 27 November, the first viist by a French head of state in over 20 years.

Sankara archives

Kaboré also said he hoped France would soon declassify its archives concerning the killing of revolutionary Burkina leader Thomas Sankara, who was assassinated 30 years ago last month.

"I think this would be a good thing, it would be a sign of good faith toward uncovering the truth," he said.

Sankara was killed in October 1987, along with 12 comrades, in a putsch that brought his Blaise Compaoré to power.

Compaoré was toppled by mass demonstrations in October 2014 after 27 years in power.

Several people, including soldiers from the presidential security unit, have been charged in connection with Sankara's assassination as part of an inquiry opened in March 2015.

"The case is evolving, there have been 17 indictments," Kabore said. "I think the case will be settled very rapidly."

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