(BBC) Blaise Compaoré, the charismatic former president of Burkina Faso, has expressed regret to the family of Thomas Sankara, who was fatally murdered in a coup in 1987.
Mr. Compaoré was given a life term in jail in April for his involvement in the murder. He has consistently referred to the passing as an accident.
After 27 years in power, Mr. Compaoré was overthrown in a popular rebellion in 2014, and he has since been living in exile in the neighboring Ivory Coast.
“I ask the people of Burkina Faso to forgive me for all the acts I committed during my term of office, especially to the family of my brother and friend Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara,” Mr Compaoré said in a statement.
“I take responsibility and deplore, from the bottom of my heart, all the sufferings and dramas experienced by all the victims during my mandates at the head of the country and ask their families to forgive me. I hope that we can move forward from now on to rebuild our common destiny on the land of our ancestors.”
An Ivorian delegation led by the former president’s daughter Djamila Compaoré presented the message to military leader Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who seized power in a coup in January.