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Burkina Faso Junta bans BBC, VOA two weeks

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Burkina Faso has suspended the BBC and Voice of America radio networks from broadcasting for two weeks for airing a rights report accusing the army of attacks on civilians in its battle against jihadists.

According to CHANNELS TV, International NGO Human Rights Watch on Thursday said soldiers in Burkina Faso’s jihadist-hit north had killed at least 223 villagers, including 56 children, in two revenge attacks on February 25.

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The British and US radio stations are the latest international media organisations to be targeted since Captain Ibrahim Traore seized power in the West African country in a September 2022 coup.

The programmes of these two international radio networks broadcasting from Ouagadougou have been suspended for two weeks,” the communications authority announced late Thursday.

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It said the decision had been taken because BBC Africa and the VOA aired and also published a report on their digital platforms “accusing the Burkina army of abuses against the civilian population”.

The body said the report contained “hasty and biased declarations without tangible proof against the Burkinabe army”.

Burkina Faso has, however, not commented on the report.

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The country has been battling attacks from groups linked to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State since a jihadist insurgency swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015.

Since then, around 20,000 people have been killed in Burkina Faso, and around two million have been displaced.

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