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Voices of Liberation: Thomas Sankara

by Jean-Claude Kongo and Leo Zeilig

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His image is unmistakable: with beret and broad grin, Thomas Sankara's picture is pasted on run-down taxis and seen on the walls of local bars throughout Africa. Known widely as the African Che Guevara, Sakara was Burkina Faso's president from August 1983 until October 1987, when he was killed in a military coup led by Blaise Compaoré. His revolutionary ideas for African self-reliance made him an icon to many of Africa's poor, and he remains immensely popular to this day.