Burkina Faso’s ousted leader Blaise Compaore has been granted Ivorian citizenship, effectively ending the prospect of his extradition to face murder charges back home.
The order was signed by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara in November 2014, but has only just come to light.
Mr Compaore is wanted over his alleged role in the murder of iconic ex-leader Thomas Sankara in 1987.
His 27-year rule ended in October 2014 after a wave of popular protests.
Mr Compaore, whose wife is Ivorian, has been in exile in Ivory Coast since his overthrow in October 2014.
An arrest warrant was issued for him in December.
It is learnt that Ivory Coast does not extradite its citizens.
Mr Sankara, a left-wing radical seen as “Africa’s Che Guevara”, is considered a hero for many Africans and was succeeded by Mr Compaore, who had served as his deputy.
The exact circumstances of his death have remained a mystery.