Burkina Faso suspends French news outlet Jeune Afrique

Burkina Faso’s military junta issued a statement on Monday announcing the suspension of the French news magazine Jeune Afrique for “untruthful” articles that reported on alleged tensions and discontent within the country’s armed forces.

The suspension of Jeune Afrique represents the most recent development in the tightening restrictions on French media outlets since Burkina Faso came under military governance last year.

The statement accused the publication of attempting to undermine the reputation of the armed forces and manipulating information to incite disorder in the country following two articles published in the past four days.

Relations between Burkina Faso and its former colonial ruler, France, have deteriorated as mounting security concerns related to a jihadist insurgency contributed to two military takeovers in the country last year.

These tensions have resulted in the expulsion of diplomatic representatives, including the French ambassador to Burkina Faso, and have fuelled a backlash against foreign media outlets operating in the country.

The military junta had previously suspended French-funded broadcasters Radio France Internationale and France24, accusing them of providing a platform for Islamist militants involved in the insurgency across the Sahel region south of the Sahara. Both media outlets denied these allegations.

In June, the French television channel La Chaine Info, part of private broadcaster TF1, was suspended for three months due to a report on the insurgency that was deemed to “lacked objectivity.”

In April, two French journalists employed by the newspapers Le Monde and Liberation were forcibly expelled from Burkina Faso.

Liberation contested the suspension, asserting that it was unwarranted since the two journalists had “perfect integrity” and possessed all the required documentation.

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