Burkina Faso's military government suspends French broadcaster RFI

© Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP

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 the French broadcaster off the airwaves this year.

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 (GSIM) 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.

The government had already, on November 3, protested the contents of the French broadcaster's reports, said the government statement.

"Considering everything that has happened before, the government has decided on the immediate suspension, until further notice, of the broadcasting of Radio France Internationale's programmes."

The government also accused RFI of having relayed "misleading information" suggesting the leader of the Burkinabe junta, Captain Ibrahim Traore, had said there had been an attempted coup against him.

'Unfounded accusations'


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