The Burkina Faso government accuses FRANCE 24 of broadcasting an “interview with the Head of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)”. However, the channel has never invited him to speak directly on its programmes, and has simply reported his words in the form of a column, ensuring the necessary distance and context. Furthermore, this column enabled us to confirm for the first time that the French hostage Olivier Dubois, who has since been released, was held by AQIM.
FRANCE 24 is outraged by the defamatory comments made by the Burkina Faso government, which describes the channel as “a communications agency for these terrorists”. This is an attempt to discredit a channel whose independence and ethics are not in question. FRANCE 24 reiterates its unwavering commitment to the freedom to inform and its journalists’ professionalism.
In addition, the decision to suspend the channel was made without prior notice and without implementing the procedures enshrined in the FRANCE 24 broadcasting agreement established by the Superior Council of Communication of Burkina Faso.
Until March 27, 2023, continuous exchanges between the regulatory authority and representatives of FRANCE 24 have always allowed for a constructive dialogue.
The reason that is now being used by the country’s government to justify suspending the channel’s broadcasting rights has never been mentioned.
In December 2022, the Burkina Faso government suspended broadcasting by Radio France Internationale under the same conditions of common law, thereby exonerating itself from any obligation to respect the procedures in place.
In Burkina Faso, FRANCE 24 is followed by one third of the population every week and by more than 60% of executives and leaders. It can still be viewed by direct satellite reception via Eutelsat 16 A and SES 5, on YouTube, the Internet and social media.
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