Burkina Faso military junta expels two French journalists without explanation.

Burkina Faso military junta expels two French journalists without explanation.

Le Monde and Liberation newspapers reported that Sophie Douce, a French journalist for Le Monde, and Agnes Faivre, a correspondent for Liberation, were told to leave a West African country within 24 hours without any explanation.

Map of Burkina Faso; used for representational purpose. Pic/istock

Military Junta in Burkina Faso Expels French Journalists Without Explanation

The military junta in Burkina Faso has recently expelled two French journalists without any explanation. Sophie Douce, a correspondent for Le Monde, and Agnes Faivre, a correspondent for Liberation, were both given 24 hours to leave the country. Both journalists were separately questioned about their work by state security before being ordered to leave. The director of Le Monde condemned the move, calling it an arbitrary decision that undermines the freedom of the press in the region.

The expulsions come at a time when Burkina Faso has been facing ongoing violence caused by jihadi fighters affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. The violent insurgency has been going on for seven years, killing thousands and displacing nearly 2 million people. The violence has led to the destabilisation and division of the once peaceful country in the Sahel region, leading to two coups in the past year.

This is not the first time that the military junta in Burkina Faso has targeted journalists and media outlets. In March, a Sahel consultant for the International Crisis Group was arrested and detained for two days by authorities and questioned about his work. In December, the government expelled the top UN official in the country and weeks later ordered France to recall its ambassador.

These expulsions and other actions against journalists and media outlets raise serious concerns about the state of press freedom and civic freedoms in Burkina Faso under the military junta. It is important for the international community to speak out against such actions and support the rights of journalists to report freely and without fear of reprisal.

When asked about the expulsion of journalists, the government did not provide a response, but it came shortly after Liberation published an investigation into children being executed in a military barracks in the country’s north.

The government accused the French publication of manipulating the situation for political purposes and claimed that the reporters lacked knowledge of the reality on the ground. The AP later published their own findings, which supported Liberation’s report. Agnes Faivre and Laurence Drouet, also known as Douce, were both experienced journalists who had been covering Burkina Faso’s humanitarian crisis and security threat. Their expulsion was criticized by their respective publications, who praised their professionalism and integrity.

Human rights groups have condemned the government’s actions, including the use of complex accreditation processes that hinder journalistic work and threaten the protection of sources.

The expulsion of these journalists is seen as part of the government’s efforts to control independent media and promote a pro-junta narrative.

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