Thomas Sankara: the humble President of honest people
Revolutionaries can be killed, ideas never!Someday we must talk about the leaders of the super powers that sweat, blood and sleepless nights have produced prosperity to their countries. Definitely. But while the focus on the President of a very small and God-forsaken country, with a beautiful name to Burkina Faso. Even though the country is small, and the problems it has is no end. Poverty, poverty, low levels of education and health. In short, a typical African country with typical African problems. But not without reason the name of the country in the language of Moore sounds like «the Country of Honest people», because in it the history of a single bright beam, which gave the Republic a great big hope. And all thanks to one incredibly honest person who traded their blessings for the prosperity of the country. Thomas Isidore Sankara. President, politician, musician and a good man, sincerely believed that the personal example will help the country escape from the dark present. Unfortunately, there intervened a large global policy and the interests of the more powerful comrades, who ended a road honest President honest people.
Briefly about the country
Once long ago, Burkina Faso was called Upper Volta. It was one of the many French colonies on the Black continent. In 1960 in the Wake of independence, when former colonies around the world began actively to achieve freedom from their mother countries, under the guise of Volta got rid of the French domination. Only all these useless African, Asian, Latin American country, solid opustevshiy a maps, had no idea what to do with this independence and how to live in an enlightened, technological world. They used to smear anything, ritual human sacrifice and was running around the jungle in the buff, and now? Especially within the borders of the state, was, United several tribes. As a rule, one of them was in power, oppressing others – is a typical African story. For us they are the same, and there is belonging to Hutus and Tutsis can lead to genocides and other delights of wartime. Most often, these tribes did not like the notional boundary because more than half of their relatives now belonged to another state. Thus begins the still ongoing war between the good African States. Have tasted freedom, you know. I went to the French with the British – they had a ball, and bringing hot African atmosphere to obscene degrees.
But in Burkina Faso it was all calmer, everything was limited to civil upheaval, as in decent banana Republic. I must say the hero himself came to power as improper method, but what else is there to do when your illiterate country is awash with corruption and bureaucracy, the other measures do not understand. Dictators, even African, I can not stand when someone out there is secretly promotes and explains the simple peasants of the charms of Marxism.
The beginning of the path
When you are at attention waiting for orders, not knowing in whose favor it works the arms and this order, you become a potential criminal.And Tom had no other option but to become a socialist and to fight for equality. The fact that in Upper Volta there was a caste system, through which Volume (and in the French manner the right to say it without «s» at the end) refers to a third-class people» who are the elite of the entrance was strictly forbidden. A military career was also predefined by the example of his own father, who, incidentally, fought on the fields of world war II in the French gendarmerie. Although his parents wished that Tom became a Catholic priest. Them this way seemed more acceptable and important than military or police service, but stubborn Sankari Jr. decided to devote himself to the military profession. However, Sankari knew the Scriptures, and the Koran, for the majority of the population professed Islam. Anyway, the President needs to know the spiritual preferences of its people.
A guy with obvious abilities were noticed and in 1969 was sent to study in Madagascar. There, in the city of Antsirabe, was the officer school, which Sankara and finished three years later – in 1972. It was during training in Madagascar politiski young soldier interested in revolutionary and socialist ideas, including Marxism and common in that period the concepts of «African socialism.» After returning home, Sankara began his service in the elite units of the paratroopers. In 1974 he participated in the border war with Mali, and in 1976 capable officer entrusted to lead the training center Baltiiskogo special forces in the city.
But despite left-wing views, Thomas was quite an advanced guy, buzzed Ouagadougou (this is not an affectation, but it is a the name of the capital of the whole country) on a motorcycle and played guitar in a jazz band Tout-à-Coup Jazz. By the way, say, a guitarist he was very good, and a creative streak this brave young man, certainly. They say he wrote good songs, some of which still perform hot radical leftist group with Burkina Faso. For them, Sankari a personality as iconic as for Zyuganov Lenin and Che Guevara for Angola and Cuba.
But military service is far behind, pretty soon he began to move up the career ladder. While Thomas played the colleagues in the barracks of their songs, the soul was growing dissatisfaction with the regime. But this did not prevent him to become a government adviser on information in the hated General Zerbo. But Sankari long broke down and resigned, returning to the barracks. However, soon there was another revolution, and hated the General dropped no less podolaty military doctor Jean-Baptiste ouédraogo. By the time Sankari received incredible popularity among the common people, and the army adored him as Bagration. Such people can not be scattered, and an army doctor made him his Prime Minister. It would seem, Therefore, start reform push authority to the President, everything is in your hands, but in 1983, Upper Volta visited the son of the French President Mitterrand, Jean-Christophe, who held the post of Advisor to the French President on African Affairs. Yes, despite independence, the Africans continued to suck unwashed paw and blatantly ask for help from the former usurpers, fulfilling all their requirements. It was the son of Mitterand was asked to remove the «leftist» government. Ouedraogo, to please the white master, decided to chase his Prime Minister from a single decent house in the whole of Volta, but put him together with his associates in jail. However, dissatisfied with the President, the army mutinied and sacked your pet, at the same time knocking the hapless doctor.
Playing the guitar has become quite a never. Sankara focused on the leadership of the mother country. The changes were felt immediately. First, Sankari not ordered to cast the statue of pure gold, the name of a loved one, not arrogated to himself the rank of General and four-star Hero of the Soviet Union. In General, behaved not as usual, the Communist leader. He did not, as was customary, to run the unwashed bloody hands in the Treasury and to appoint to key positions of relatives and fellow tribesmen (although they’ve already picked out a solid suit). From the first days of his reign, he gave to understand that is an idealist for whom social justice and the development of their country – the value of the highest order. That is what we need to respect this person, that he is different from the ordinary African tyrants. He not cashed at your post not because I do not know how, but because I didn’t want.
Famous story, drogada on the Internet about the President, whose personal property was only «Peugeot», purchased before coming to power, a fridge with broken freezer, three guitars and four bikes. Muzykantskii heart sprinkled tear then because of the three guitars. And it was not collectible Les raul. This is not some kind of unwashed hippie, it’s the President of the Republic, sensible and hardworking. Just he was ashamed to live well, when the country literally feeds on pasture. Someone might say that stealing it was not for that, for he himself provided. Yes, he was gorgeous presidential salary, which he listed in Fund of the help to children-orphans. He lived on a small salary a captain (the rank he has not progressed). Even with air conditioning, without which, it would seem that it is impossible to live, especially in such a country, Sankari considered a luxury. But he knew that he could throw, could be stolen and escape. But there are such things as honor and conscience, and to him they were very strong.
Policy and personal example
If we lose the struggle for the liberation of women, no need to rely on the achievement of positive changes in society.Most of all during his reign, went to the elite. He transplanted all officials with «Mercedes» on the cheap «Renault», abolished positions personal drivers. Negligent civil servants went on a couple of months for rehabilitation for agricultural plantations. Of course, they will not forgive him, but he is almost completely eradicate corruption. While the previous rulers were engaged in theft, genocide, and buying the benefits of civilization, Sankari mercilessly punish corrupt officials. In the end, the impressive progress African countries had to admit even hates cancerophobia the world Bank.
By the way, he renamed the country Burkina Faso. This phrase encompasses the two most common in the country of the language: more (mossi) and dioula. In the language of Moore «Burkina» means «honest people» (or «decent people»), the language of dioula «Faso» – «Rodina». Thus, a former French colony, named after the Volta river, became the Home of decent people. Well, the new country needed a new coat of arms, and Burkina Faso became one of the countries who had the honor to record on the main symbols of the country a Kalashnikov. On the arms he crossed with a hoe, and together the composition symbolizes the unity of agriculture and the army. Under the hoe and the machine was adorned with the inscription: «Motherland or death, we will win.»
Sankara’s policy was more like Cuban. It’s No wonder he was called the «African Che Guevara». African Che did not blindly mimic the policies of the Soviet Union than sin other African Communists. Rather, it attempted to adapt socialist realities of a distinctive African tradition.
Sankara actively denounced neo-colonialism, rejected humanitarian aid, believing that only teaches Africans to inactivity. Condemned the activities of the IMF, believing they are not allowed to develop backward countries. He believed in technological progress and accused neocolonies that they give to their «younger brothers».
When Shankar started the construction of 250 water reservoirs and drilling of 3,000 wells. Burkina Faso is suffering from a drought. Land opustynivaniya, Sugar came, outlet to the sea, the village became deserted – and all because of a lack of water. Fortunately, this problem is partially solved. And from the Sahara decided to hide behind the natural forest units. Sankari ordered to plant numerous parks, to somehow stop the approaching desert. Well, in any case, the country became greener, and the environment a little better.
Thomas Sankara tried to solve the main problem of African health care. His program, «Battle for health» and forced 2.5 million children to receive the vaccine from infectious diseases. By the way, Thomas was the first African leaders acknowledged the existence of AIDS and its prevention. The mortality rate within a few years of the reign of Sankara has decreased from 280 children up to 145 per 1,000 and is the highest in the world. However, without the assistance of Cuban doctors has not done.
Parallel Sankari engaged in the educational program, teaching children in 9 languages used in the country. He did not forget about for centuries oppressed in the country are female. In fact, he started the emancipation of women, without fear of angry reactions of the Islamic part of the society. Sankara banned first widespread custom of female circumcision, forced early marriage, polygamy, and sought in every way to attract women to work and even for military service. In the armed forces of Burkina Faso during the reign of Sankara was even created a special women’s battalion.
What would Thomas Sankara was to bring home from the dark past, but not the Soviet way, and not even Cuban, and his own unique, not copying nor the West nor the Soviet system. Though he was in a relationship with Cuba and Fidel (the commander even came to Sankara), to follow the Cuban path, it is also not wanted, because for him the only solution was self-sufficient. Why Thomas refused humanitarian assistance. He is close friends with the President of neighboring Ghana Jerry Rollins, which is the same as Sankara, was a simple soldier, moving on the same road. He wasn’t even as close with the USSR, which, of course, paid a visit of courtesy, but did not become a Marxist-Leninist. He went the other way.
But with all these reforms, Sankari forgot all about the army, which is unacceptable in the harsh African reality. In military terms, the country greatly lagged behind treacherous neighbors. This clearly proved that the old conflict with Mali that sparked in 1985 when his copyists of the population had inadvertently crossed the border and were in the neighboring Republic, with which they have old scores. Sankara sought to the democratic control of the armed forces and at the same time the political education of soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers. Committees for the defence of the revolution was to organize the universal arming of the people, and the people’s militia – the people’s national weather service (SERNAPO) to complement the army, gradually replacing it yourself. However, during the revolution, had eliminated many of the old officers, which weakened the army. The war with Mali lasted only 5 days but claimed the lives of 300 soldiers. All countries in the sleepy Northern and Central Africa sharply agog and began to reconcile the warring blacks. But the fact remains that this war Sankari lost. And this was the beginning of the end.
Beginning of the end of a glorious hero
Military without political training is a potential criminals.As usual, under any political system are always dissatisfied. Sankara did not like very much offended the elite and the officer corps of the country.
Transfer of certain defensive functions of the revolutionary committees and reducing the flow o ‘ the money for the army is much distressed soldier, because they believed his Sankara. But not they lowered the blade of the guillotine on the neck of the ruler, and the French. Peaceful and humiliated anyone France could only that to play the role of Christ the Savior, and «gray cardinal» in the African arena. Their very Sankara was not satisfied. Not fond of Sankara and neighbors. Under the patronage of France, even going to the conference of the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso, which adopted an appeal to Shankar demanding the end of social policy. Colleagues did not rush to the aid of Thomas, their hurt was irritated by the independence of the Burkina Faso leader, and then neither Gaddafi nor the USSR for help is not sought.
But it was surrounded by Sankara the person with whom you can negotiate – black scum, and corrupt as the beast, Blaise compaoré, who held before a post of the Minister of justice. Winner of Charles Taylor – the future bloody dictator of Liberia, who subsequently will be in the Hague Tribunal. And then it was just beginning, Compaore promised Taylor’s support of the revolution – an offer you cannot refuse.
15 Oct 1987 Thomas Sankara arrived for the meeting of the National revolutionary Council for a meeting with his supporters. At this point, they were attacked by armed men. It was his special forces, commanded by Diendere Gilbert, who headed the training center of special forces in the city, thus, which was once headed by Sankara himself. Thirty-eight, captain Thomas Sankara and the twelve of his associates were shot and buried in a mass grave. Wife and two children of slain revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso was forced to flee the country. There is information that in the last moment of impending against Thomas Sankara conspiracy found out his friend was the leader of Ghana and no less worthy revolutionary Jerry Rawlings. Was ready to fly the plane with the Ghana special forces, ready to fly to Ouagadougou for the protection of «captain decent people», but it was too late…
Came to power, Blaise compaoré, who not only betrayed a friend, but also plunged the country into chaos, where she is still. Compaore returned to the privileges and high salaries for officials, senior officers of the army and police, but the people again know hunger and backwardness in everything. The means that Sankari collected in a special Fund for the improvement of slum settlements of the capital Ouagadougou, the new President bought a private jet. And in gratitude for the overthrow of Burkina Faso was granted an IMF loan of 67 million dollars. American and French friends vividly supported a young African leader who ruled for 27 years very affordable. Of course, you will say that Sankari – no different from him, obsessed with the idea of equality as a field commander? You’re partly right, but he tried to make the country better and the country was really better. And personal austerity draws, but him and Mujica, perhaps, anybody and never will.