Almost eight years after he was toppled in an uprising, Blaise Compaore, Burkina Faso’s former president on Thursday returned from exile.
His plane landed in the capital Ouagadougou on Thursday afternoon, after which a helicopter took off toward the presidential palace.
In April this year Compaoré was given a life sentence in absentia for his role in the assassination of the country’s revolutionary leader and his predecessor, Thomas Sankara, during the coup that brought him to power 35 years ago.
It’s not clear whether Compaoré, 71 will be subjected to a judicial process now that he is back in Burkina Faso.
Lawyers for Sankara’s family have demanded that Compaore be arrested on arrival, although Burkinabe media have speculated in recent days that he could be granted a pardon.
On Friday, Compaore will meet with coup leader and interim president Paul-Henri Damiba and other former presidents at a reconciliation summit amid rising insecurity linked to an Islamist insurgency in the north.