Burkina Faso Suspends VOA, BBC/Africa Broadcasts

Burkina Faso has temporarily suspended the programs of Voice of America and BBC/Africa following the broadcast of news stories about a Human Rights Watch report accusing the Burkinabè army of 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 sought reactions from several Burkinabè officials but did not receive any response.

VOA stands by its reporting about Burkina Faso and intends to continue to fully and fairly cover activities in the country.

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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