Burkina Faso expels French newspaper correspondents
Dhe military government in West Africa Burkina Faso expelled the correspondents of the French daily newspapers “Le Monde” and “Libération”. Sophie Douce and Agnès Faivre were asked to leave the country at short notice and arrived in Paris on Sunday, the newspapers said. The expulsions were based on allegations of espionage and the allegation that the journalists had infiltrated the country and paid large sums of money for false testimonies.
“We vigorously protest against these absolutely unjustified expulsions and the ban on our journalists working independently,” Liberation said. “Le Monde strongly condemns this arbitrary decision, which forced the two journalists to leave Ouagadougou in less than 24 hours,” said the newspaper’s director, Jérôme Fenoglio.
Burkina Faso recently suspended the broadcast of the French news channel France 24. The popular French broadcaster RFI had already been banned from broadcasting in December. In neighboring Mali, which is also governed by a military government, RFI and France 24 have not been allowed to broadcast for about a year.
Armed groups have been active for years in the Sahel state of Burkina Faso, which has a population of around 21 million, and its neighboring states of Mali and Niger. Some of them have sworn allegiance to the terrorist groups Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Like Mali before it, Burkina Faso is also turning its back on France and recently terminated military cooperation with the former colonial power. The deterioration of the security situation, despite French anti-terrorist troops, made anti-French sentiment in the country ever stronger. Russian actors are also fueling resentment.