RFI denounces 'unfounded' suspension of broadcasts by Burkina Faso junta

© RFI

Radio France Internationale has denounced the suspension of its broadcasts by Burkina Faso's military government, describing accusations that it had contributed to "a desperate manoeuvre of terrorist groups" as wholly unfounded.

In a press release, RFI's management said the cut-off occurred without prior notice and without implementing the procedures provided for in the station's broadcasting agreement established by Burkina Faso's Superior Council of Communication.

"The France Médias Monde Group will explore all avenues to restore RFI's broadcasting, and reiterates its unwavering commitment to the freedom to inform and to the professional work of its journalists," the press release said.

Burkina Faso on Saturday ordered the immediate suspension of Radio France Internationale (RFI) broadcasts, accusing it of putting out a "message of intimidation" attributed to a "terrorist chief".

It is the second West African country under military rule, after Mali, to take RFI off the airwaves this year.

Accusations

RFI had contributed to "a desperate manoeuvre of terrorist groups" to dissuade thousands of Burkinabe citizens mobilised for the defence of the country, said Burkinabe government spokesman Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo.

At the beginning of the week, the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Support Group for Islam and Muslims threatened in a video to attack villages defended by the pro-government VDP militia in Burkina Faso.

The VDP are civilian volunteers given two weeks' military training to work alongside the army carrying out surveillance, information-gathering or escort duties.

(with wires)


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