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Burkina Faso: France 24 broadcasts suspended after al Qaeda interview
27/03/2023 13:35 in World News
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The ruling junta of Burkina Faso stopped all broadcasts by France 24 media in the country on Monday after it aired an interview with the chief of Al-Qaeda in North Africa.
"By opening its antennas to the head of AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), France 24 not only acts as a communications agency for these terrorists, but it also provides... legitimacy to terrorist actions and hate speech," the junta's spokesman said, referring to the interview with AQIM head Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al-Annabi on March 6.
"As a result, the government has decided... to suspend the broadcast of France 24 programmes on national territory indefinitely," spokesperson Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo stated.
On March 6, France 24 published written responses by al-Annabi to 17 questions presented by Wassim Nasr, the news channel's jihadist expert.
The junta in the West African nation stopped Radio France Internationale (RFI), which is part of the same media company as France 24, in early December, accusing the radio station of broadcasting a "message of intimidation" ascribed to a "terrorist chief."
Both RFI and France 24 have been suspended in neighbouring Mali, which, like Burkina, is ruled by a military junta and is fighting terrorist militants.
The Ouagadougou junta stated that it would continue to "protect the basic interests of our people against anyone who acts as a loudspeaker for terrorist acts and the divisive hate discourse of these armed groups."
Burkina Faso had two military coups in the last year, both headed by officers enraged by the failure to combat the threat posed by Islamist groups.
In March, Mali's ruling junta announced the suspension of RFI and France 24's broadcasting licences after they aired stories implicating Mali's soldiers in abuses against civilians.