Panafrican News Agency

Burkina Faso commemorates 23rd anniversary of assassination of journalist Norbert Zongo

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) – Burkina Faso on Monday commemorated the 23rd anniversary of the assassination of Norbert Zongo, an investigative journalist and three of his colleagues in 1998.

In a ceremony, marked by laying of wreaths, the chairman of the event, Guézouma Sanogo, said that the pain and emotion of 13 December 1998, the day when Norbert Zongo and his co-workers were assassinated, still burn in their minds.

"That day, the Burkinabe lost a great defender of freedom, democracy and human rights. By killing the distinguished investigative journalist, they undoubtedly hoped to kill independent press in him. But, they made a big mistake. They yet succeeded in plunging into morning families, a people, but they couldn’t succeed in threatening or silencing journalists, the press freedom defenders, the human rights and democracy activists", he said.

He explained that six years after the reopening of the Nobert Zongo probe, Burkinabes are looking to the European Council of human rights, on which Francois Compaoré, the person behind the assassination, relies on to escape justice.

"But it is not only this. The Burkinabes are still demanding justice, which desperately fails to clarify the perpetrators and persons behind the assassination of Norbert Zongo, Blaise Ilboudo, Ernest Zongo and Abdoulaye Nikiéma", he said.

Norbert Zongo, journalist who was investigating the death of the driver of François Compaoré, was found burnt to death on 13 December 1998, with three of his colleagues, according to local media.

On 29 October, 2017, François Compaoré was arrested at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, in France, in response to an international arrest warrant.

On 30 July 2021, the French Council of State validated his extradition to Burkina Faso after four years of legal proceedings.

In August, the extradition procedure of François Compaoré from France to Burkina Faso was suspended by the European Council of human rights, according to a communiqué issued by his lawyers.

-0- PANA TNDD/IS/MSA/VAO 13Dec2021