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Burkina Faso suspends French media "Jeune Afrique" magazine

Archive photo: Burkina Faso's former foreign minister, Alpha Barry, reads a magazine during an interview with AFP, July 12, 2016 in Abidjan.   -  
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ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP or licensors

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso announced on Monday evening the suspension of "all distribution media" of the French media Jeune Afrique, which includes a print newspaper and a website, after the publication of articles evoking tensions within the Burkinabe army.

The "transitional government" has "responsibly decided to suspend all Jeune Afrique distribution media in Burkina Faso until further notice, as of this Monday, September 25", wrote government spokesman and Communications Minister Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouédraogo.

The government justifies its decision by the circulation of "a new misleading article on the website of the newspaper Jeune Afrique, entitled: "Au Burkina Faso, toujours des tensions au sein de l'armée" and published on Monday.

Announced on Monday September 25, the Burkinabe government's decision is yet another attack on press freedom.

"This publication follows an earlier article on the same site", published on Thursday, "in which Jeune Afrique alleged that 'in Burkina Faso, discontent is rising in the barracks'", adds the Minister.

According to the government, "these deliberate assertions, made without the slightest hint of proof, have the sole aim of discrediting the national armed forces and, by extension, all fighting forces".

Among those interviewed by AFP in Ouagadougou, some still have access to the website, while others reported difficulties in connecting.

Expulsion of journalists

This decision comes almost a year after Captain Ibrahim Traoré came to power in a coup d'état, his second in eight months.

Burkina Faso shares several of its borders with two other military-led countries that came to power in coups: Mali since 2020 and Niger since the end of July.

In June, the Burkina Faso authorities announced the suspension of the French TV channel LCI for three months, after expelling the correspondents of the French dailies Libération and Le Monde in April.

At the end of March, they ordered the sine die suspension of the France 24 television channel, after having suspended Radio France Internationale (RFI) in December 2022, French public media accused of relaying messages from jihadist leaders.

In August, Burkina Faso also suspended a national radio station for a month for interviewing an opponent of the military regime in Niger.

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