In 1984, Thomas Sankara, a military officer, revolutionary activist and President of Burkina Faso, was elected as the President of CEAO, the Economic Community of West Africa. Under his administration the largest financial scandal in the organisations history broke out.
Mohammed Diawara, the Ivoirian minister of Planning, was charged for embezzling 6.5 billion dollars of CEAO funds marked for famine relief. Sankara declared it was time 'to clean house' and put him on trial before a Popular Revolutionary Tribunal in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkino Faso. He was convicted and imprisoned.
The Malian elite were incensed and their President, Moussa Troare, was said to be furious. This eventually led to Troare provoking a senseless border war with Burkino Faso in late 1985.
Q. Whilst Mali and the Ivory Coast share a border, they are separate countries. Why then were the Malian elite, and in particular, the Malian President,enraged by the arrest of an official of the government of the Ivory Coast?