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Burkina Faso expels correspondents from French newspapers

Burkina Faso expels correspondents from French newspapers
Photo taken on 27 December 2007 of the façade of the headquarters of the ...   -  
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Burkina Faso

The military junta in power in Burkina Faso expelled on Saturday evening the correspondents of two major French daily newspapers, Le Monde and Liberation, a new sign of the deterioration of press freedom and relations with France in this country bruised by jihadist violence.

These expulsions of Sophie Douce from Le Monde and Agnès Faivre from Liberation, who arrived in Paris on Sunday morning, came five days after the suspension of the France 24 television channel and four months after that of Radio France Internationale (RFI).

Only French media have so far been sanctioned by the Burkinabè authorities.

Since the seizure of power by Captain Ibrahim Traoré on September 30, 2022, the second coup in eight months in Burkina, relations with Paris have deteriorated, Ouagadougou having demanded and obtained the departure of the French ambassador and the 400 French special forces soldiers based in the country.

In early March, Burkina also denounced a military assistance agreement signed in 1961 with France.

Le Monde and Liberation announced Sunday morning the expulsion of their journalists, denouncing an "unacceptable" and "arbitrary" measure, which confirms according to the second "that freedom of the press in Burkina Faso is seriously threatened".

Le Monde for its part "condemns in the strongest terms this arbitrary decision", stressing that "Sophie Douce, like her colleague, exercises for Le Monde Afrique an independent journalism, away from any pressure".

The newspaper's director, Jérôme Fenoglio , "asks the local authorities to reverse these decisions as soon as possible and to re-establish without delay the conditions for independent information in the country".

According to Liberation, "Agnès Faivre and Sophie Douce are journalists of perfect integrity, who worked in Burkina Faso completely legally, with valid visas and accreditations issued by the Burkinabè government".

"We vigorously protest against these absolutely unjustified expulsions and the ban on our journalists working independently," the newspaper added.

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