Burkina Faso Bans BBC, VOA Over Civilian Massacre Report

Burkina Faso Bans BBC, VOA Over Civilian Massacre Report
Burkina Faso Bans BBC, VOA Over Civilian Massacre Report
Written by Harry Johnson

BBC and VOA have been removed from the airwaves, and access to their respective websites has been prohibited.

The radio broadcasts of BBC Africa and Voice of America (VOA) have been suspended in Burkina Faso. The authorities claim that this action was taken in response to their coverage of a report that accused the country’s army of carrying out mass executions. As a result, the broadcasts of both organizations have been removed from the airwaves, and access to their respective websites has been prohibited.

The BBC and VOA have both expressed their commitment to ongoing coverage of developments in the nation.

The US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a report on Thursday accusing the country’s military forces of “summarily executing” a minimum of 223 civilians, including 56 children, in two villages during February. The HRW is urging authorities to conduct an investigation into these massacres.

According to the report, the country’s army has consistently engaged in mass atrocities against civilians under the pretext of combating terrorism. HRW further indicates that this “massacre” seems to be a part of a broader military campaign targeting civilians who are suspected of collaborating with armed groups.

The communication council of Burkina Faso has stated that the report by HRW includes statements that are considered “peremptory and tendentious” towards the army, which could potentially incite public unrest. Additionally, the council has cautioned other media outlets from reporting on the matter.

Burkina Faso is currently under the control of a military junta headed by Captain Ibrahim Traore. Captain Traore took power in a coup in September 2022, following a previous military coup that ousted the democratically elected President Roch Marc Kabore eight months earlier.

Burkina Faso is facing challenges from Al-Qaeda-linked insurgent groups operating in the Sahel region, resulting in numerous attacks across African nations. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), approximately 7,800 civilians lost their lives in the Sahel within the first seven months of 2023.

During a security summit this week, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the President of the African Union (AU) Commission, emphasized the need for increased local-led peacekeeping efforts in response to the escalating attacks by armed groups in various regions of Africa. In light of the surging extremist violence across the continent, the AU has called for a more robust counterterrorism strategy, which involves the deployment of a standby security force.


WTNJOIN | eTurboNews | eTN

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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