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Africa

Thomas Sankara: The challenge of corruption in a gatekeeper state

Updated on May 12, 2021, David Crawford Jones, John Riddell
Thomas Sankara: The challenge of corruption in a gatekeeper state

Sankara, the son of a relatively privileged family thanks to his father’s employment by the colonial state, was sensitive to the severe conditions of impoverishment that surrounded him, as well as the arrogance of the Europeans living in the country, ensconced in luxuries that sharply contrasted with the desperate suffering of the vast majority of Africans. In 1966, Sankara enrolled in the national military academy, a choice that likely reflected both the importance of discipline that had been instilled in him by his father, as well as his aspirations to combat the political corruption of the young nation’s ruling class.

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