Burkina Faso Suspends France 24 Broadcasts

    Burkina Faso Suspends France 24 Broadcasts
    Last updated Mar 27, 2023
    Image credit: aljazeera


    • Burkina Faso's government on Monday suspended state-funded France 24 broadcasts in the country after the TV channel aired an interview with Yezid Mebarek, the head of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), earlier this month.[1]
    • This comes as relations between Paris and Ouagadougou have collapsed since the military took over Burkina Faso last October, with the junta rescinding a military deal and giving France one month to withdraw its troops in January this year.[2]
    • France 24, which has also been suspended in Mali for a year, relayed on March 6 written answers from the leader of the AQIM to some fifteen questions put by its journalist Wassim Nasr.[3]
    • In the interview, Mebarek stated that the withdrawal of French troops from both Burkina Faso and Mali was a victory for his group. He also described the Russian private military Wagner Group as a colonial force in the region.[4]
    • Radio France Internationale (RFI) has also been suspended in Burkina Faso since December on allegations that the media outlet had disseminated a "message of intimidation" attributed to a "terrorist chief."[5]
    • Jihadist insurgency linked to al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State group has unsettled the once-peaceful West African country of Burkina Faso for seven years, killing thousands and displacing around 2M people.[6]


    Narrative A

    As if France's failure to help its former colonies fight jihadist insurgency wasn't enough, now its state-owned France 24 media outlet is unacceptably acting as the mouthpiece for dangerous terrorists, threatening Burkina Faso and its people by giving a platform to jihadist groups. Burkina Faso’s government had no choice but to suspend France 24 in order to maintain stability in the country.

    Narrative B

    Burkina Faso’s government is making outrageous and defamatory remarks regarding France 24 and mischaracterizing the network’s broadcast of its interview with Abu Obeida Youssef al-Annabi. The country has a history of suppressing journalists and curbing press freedom, and it should not suspend channels without notice.

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