" "

Burkina Faso expels reporters from two French newspapers


Burkina Faso has expelled correspondents from Le Monde and Libération, the newspapers said on Sunday, the latest move the junta running the west African country has taken against French media.

Burkina Faso, where two coups took place last year, is battling a jihadist insurgency that spilled over from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

“Our correspondent in Burkina Faso, Sophie Douce, has been expelled from the country … at the same time as her colleague from Libération, Agnès Faivre,” Le Monde said.

The authorities summoned the two journalists on Friday evening and gave them 24 hours to leave the country. They landed in Paris on Sunday morning, the newspaper said.

Le Monde said it condemned what it called an arbitrary decision in the strongest terms and demanded the authorities rescind it.

Libération said it “vigorously protests these absolutely unjustified expulsions” and suggested they were linked to an investigation it published earlier in the week.

“The March 27 publication of a Libération investigation into the circumstances in which a video was filmed showing children and adolescents being executed in a military barracks by at least one soldier evidently strongly displeased the junta in power in Burkina Faso.”

Jean-Emmanuel Ouédraogo, a government spokesperson, wrote after the piece was published that it “strongly condemns these manipulations disguised as journalism to tarnish the image of the country”.

The expulsions are the latest move against media from the former colonial power.

The authorities suspended all France 24 broadcasts on Monday after the news channel aired an interview with the head of al-Qaida in north Africa, saying it was “part of a process of legitimising the terrorist message”.

“We know the effects of this message in this country,” the government said.

France 24 hit back. The security crisis the country is going through must not be a pretext for muzzling the media,” it said.

The junta also suspended Radio France Internationale (RFI), which belongs to the same France Médias Monde group as France 24, in December, accusing it of airing a “message of intimidation” attributed to a “terrorist chief”.

Soldiers in Burkina Faso, one of the world’s poorest countries, staged two coups in 2022 over its failure to tackle the threat from jihadist groups.

More than 10,000 civilians, troops and police have been killed, according to one NGO estimate, and at least 2 million people have been displaced. Official figures say jihadists effectively control about 40% of the country.

The junta leader, Capt Ibrahim Traoré, vowed to recover lost territory after taking power in September, but attacks have escalated since the start of the year, with dozens of soldiers and civilians killed every week.

RFI and France 24, which cover African affairs closely and are popular in African francophone countries, have been suspended in neighbouring Mali, which is also run by a military junta fighting jihadist forces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

[mc4wp_form id="206"]
%d bloggers like this: