Burkina Faso suspends French news channel over report on insurgency

The military government of Burkina Faso has suspended a French television news channel, citing lack of objectivity and credibility in its reporting on the jihadist insurgency in the country. This move represents an escalation in the government’s crackdown on foreign media, as tensions between Burkina Faso and its former colonizer, France, have intensified due to growing concerns over security.

La Chaine Info (LCI), a French TV channel owned by private broadcaster TF1, has been suspended for a period of three months starting from June 23. The decision was announced by Burkina Faso’s national media regulator in a statement released on Thursday. According to the regulator, the report aired by LCI in late April exaggerated the scale of the insurgency and irresponsibly highlighted unverified failures in the country’s military response to the crisis.

This suspension follows the earlier suspensions of French-funded broadcasters Radio France Internationale and France24, which were accused by the ruling junta of giving a platform to Islamist militants involved in the Sahel region insurgency. In addition, two French journalists working for Le Monde and Liberation were expelled from Burkina Faso in April.

Burkina Faso, like several other countries in West Africa, is grappling with a jihadist insurgency linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State. The insurgency originated in Mali in 2012 and has since spread across the Sahel region. The violence has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives, the displacement of over six million people, and the gradual expansion of militant groups, according to the United Nations.

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