The Quai d’Orsay “deplores” the suspension of RFI in Burkina Faso

France wanted to support RFI. Paris “deplored” on Monday the suspension of Radio France Internationale decided on Saturday by the military authorities of Burkina Faso, who accuse it of having relayed a “message of intimidation” attributed to a “terrorist leader”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms “its constant and determined commitment to freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the protection of journalists and all those whose expression contributes to free and plural information and to the public debate, all over the world”. According to the management of RFI, the radio is followed every week in Burkina Faso “by more than 40% of the population and more than 70% of opinion leaders”.

A press review that does not please those in power

Early last week, the Al-Qaida-affiliated Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM) released a video in which one of its leaders in Burkina threatened to attack villages defended by Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP), civilian auxiliaries of the army, which has just recruited 90,000 in three weeks to deal with the resurgence of jihadist attacks.

The government also criticizes RFI, French public radio, for having included in its press review on Friday “false information, indicating that:” The president of the transition, captain Ibrahim Traoré, assures that an attempted coup the State aimed at its power”.

A ban also in Mali

Burkina, the scene of two military coups in eight months and plagued by jihadist violence since 2015, is the second country in the region to ban RFI this year after Mali, also led by putschist soldiers and also in prey to attacks by jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group.

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