Press Statement

The team of the site, thomassankara.net, has decided to give its opinion on the rehabilitation by the government of the Thomas Sankara Centre Initiative (see http:/thomassankara.net/projet-de-developpement-des-quartiers-dagnoen-et-wemtenga-de-ouagadougou-par-la-creation-du-centre-thomas-sankara)

August 6, 2016, the team of the site, in view of the information that was provided, published a text for the internal debate that we had stirred up when one of us was approached by the Minister Tahirou Barry in May 2016. The declaration was adopted on August 5, 2016 with 13 votes in favor, 3 votes against, and 3 abstentions.

-Considering that this government is led by politicians who contributed to the murder of Thomas Sankara, and to the tarnishing of his name and erasing of him from the memory of Burkinabé peoples;

-Considering that it cannot envision any cooperation with this government as long as justice has not been served regarding the assassination of Thomas Sankara, as well as all the crimes of Blaise Compaoré’s regime;

-Considering that the different forces using the name of Thomas Sankara are dispersed, leaving open all possible forms of manipulation in the future;

-Considering that the Minister of Culture who took this initiative has no political weight within and outside this government, to put in practice the independence that he wants to establish in relation to the government;

-Considering all this, the team of the site decides to not support this initiative, or to collaborate with it and wishes that its server be freed from the accommodation list created to discuss the continuation of this project with the government.

We regret that certain forces using the name of Thomas Sankara prefer to accept the governmental rehabilitation rather than getting together and making an effort to have a frank and constructive discussion with the aim of finding ways to reinforce an initiative that is independent of the government.

It is, in effect, from a position of strength that those who invoked the ideal of Thomas Sankara, convinced of their capacity to lead such a project independently, brought together and strengthened from several successful initiatives, could begin the negotiation with a government once the Centre is built, and to request its management.

After a press conference organized August 25, 2016, we note a willingness to take into consideration our position, in particular a declaration of independence vis-à-vis the government. But the declarations of intent are not enough. Numerous ambiguities must be removed.

We affirm that the initiator of the project is none other than the Minister of Culture, Mr. Tahirou Barry himself, who introduced a communication on this, April 13, 2016, to the Council of Ministers. The press conference was announced on the Facebook page of the Minister of Culture as organized by this minister. Tahirou Barry figures well as a member of the study group in the provisional list that was received.

The preliminary declaration states that it wants to gather different initiatives. However, the real initiators of the project, rehabilitated by the minister, have not been kept informed of either the progress of the project or the press conference. The project has existed since March 2015 (see http://thomassankara.net/projet-de-developpement-des-quartiers-dagnoen-et-wemtenga-de-ouagadougou-par-la-creation-du-centre-thomas-sankara/).

Obviously a memorial is a necessity. The team of the site thomassankara.net reaffirms therefore its availability for a project totally independent of the government. All collaboration with the government, all support from its side, must for the moment be refused, as long as justice has not been rendered on the assassinations of October 15. The real initiators of the project must regain their place. The spirit of Thomas Sankara that characterized the popular mobilization must be at the heart of the project of this memorial at the same time that research grants at the highest level of ambition that it deserves.

August 28, 2016

The team of the site, thomassankara.net

Contact : info@thomassankara.net

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