By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The captain Ibrahim Traore-led military junta in Burkina Faso has announced the suspension of one of the most popular broadcast stations, Radio Omega after it aired an interview considered “insulting” to Niger’s new military leaders.
Communications Minister Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo said in a statement on Thursday that the suspension of the station’s operations would last “until further notice”....CONTINUE READING
He said the measure was “in the higher interests of the Nation.”
The station, part of the Omega media group owned by journalist and former foreign minister Alpha Barry, went off air after the statement was issued late Thursday.
The channel had aired an interview with Ousmane Abdoul Moumouni, the spokesman of a newly-established Nigerien group campaigning to return President Mohamed Bazoum to power.
Niger’s elected leader, President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown on July 26 by members of the Presidential Guard led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani.
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Moumouni made “insulting comments with regard to the new Nigerien authorities,” said the Minister who is also government spokesman.
His organisation “is clearly campaigning for violence and war against the sovereign people of Niger” and seeks to restore Bazoum “by every means,” he charged.
Radio Omega on Friday said it would turn to “every means of recourse” to fight the suspension.
The decision is a “blatant violation of current laws and an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” it said.
The order, it added, came after “numerous death threats” had been made against the station’s managers and journalists “from people describing themselves as supporters of the government.”
Burkina Faso underwent two military coups last year, each partly triggered by discontent at failures to stem a raging jihadist, just like in the case of Mali and Niger.
Burkina Faso and Mali jointly sent a delegation to Niger last week in solidarity with the military junta.
Both countries have said any attempt to use military action to reinstate Bazoum will be seen as declaration of war on them….CONTINUE READING