Aboubacar Sangoulé Lamizana was born on 31 January 1916 in Zignara, Upper Volta. He went to Senegal to train at the African Officers School in St. Louis. In 1936, he was drafted into the French army as colonial infantryman and fought in Indochina and Algeria. When Upper Volta gained independence in 1960, he successfully managed the creation of a national army and was promoted to Chief of Staff of the armed forces. In 1966 a popular uprising led the head of state to resign and he handed over power to Lamizana. The latter thus became the Second President of the Republic of Upper Volta. In this capacity, he passed a new constitution in 1970, granting more power to the executive. However, in 1974, the state was paralyzed due to a division between the Prime Minister and President of the National Assembly. Lamizana was forced to suspend the constitution and a government of national renewal was appointed. After adopting a new constitution, creating the Third Republic, Lamizana won the 1978 presidential elections. However, in 1980, the social climate became tense, there were several strikes, and the President was eventually overthrown by Colonel Saye Zerbo. In 1984, Lamizana was put on trial before a popular revolution tribunal for the poor management special funds. He was cleared and preserved his reputation as an honest man. He subsequently left politics and his public appearances became rare. In 2000, he published his memoirs Under the Flags. In 2003 he was named as the most tolerant person in Burkina Faso and awarded the Gold Star of Tolerance. He died on 26 May 2005. His country honoured him in May 2010 by naming a vocational training centre in Tugan after him and by organizing the Aboubacar Sangoulé Lamizana football cup as part of the 50th anniversary of independence.
2nd President of Upper Volta