Media Crackdown: Burkina Faso Bans BBC and VOA

Burkina Faso

The programs of Voice of America and BBC/Africa have been temporarily suspended by Burkina Faso after news stories were aired regarding a Human Rights Watch report that accused the Burkinabè army of committing abuses against civilian populations.

The Superior Council of Communication Thursday ordered the immediate halt of the rebroadcasts and suspension of the programs of both international radio stations for two weeks.

Access to the websites and digital platforms of BBC, VOA, and Human Rights Watch was also suspended within Burkina Faso.

In its broadcast of the story on the Human Rights Watch report, VOA said they had sought reactions from several Burkinabè officials but did not receive any response.

Military-ruled Burkina Faso has in recent months suspended other Western news outlets, including the French television broadcasters LCI and France24; French radio broadcaster Radio France Internationale, the French daily newspaper Le Monde and the French magazine Jeune Afrique.

Burkina Faso is one of several West African nations in the Sahel region, including Mali and Niger, that have been combatting Islamist insurgencies. The military seized power in a 2022 coup, citing the government’s failure to put down a jihadist insurgency that erupted in 2015.

Some information in this report came from Agence France-Presse, Reuters and The Associated Press.

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