Burkina Faso Military Regime Suspends BBC, Voice Of America Over Report Of Massacre Of Children, Others

The military government of Burkina Faso has suspended the operation of two global media organisations, BBC and Voice of America for reporting the massacre of 223 civilians, including at least 56 children.

Human Rights Watch had claimed that the massacre which happened in February 2024 was among the worst army abuses in Burkina Faso since 2015.

It was also described as a part of a widespread military campaign against civilians accused of collaborating with Islamist armed groups.

SaharaReporters reported on Thursday that HRW said the killings may amount to crimes against humanity.

Soldiers killed 44 people, including 20 children, in Nondin village, and 179 people, including 36 children, in the nearby Soro village of Thiou district in the northern Yatenga province, according to Human Rights Watch.

Reacting to this report, the government of the West African country took offence and ordered an immediate halt to the operation of VOA and BBC for two weeks.

The VOA said the directive was passed by the Superior Council of Communication on Thursday, ordering the immediate halt of the rebroadcasts and suspension of the programs of both international radio stations for two weeks.

Access to the websites and digital platforms of BBC, VOA, and Human Rights Watch was also suspended within Burkina Faso.

Military-ruled Burkina Faso has recently stopped several Western news outlets, including the French television broadcasters LCI and France24, the French radio station Radio France Internationale, the French daily newspaper Le Monde, and the French magazine Jeune Afrique.

Burkina Faso is one of several West African countries in the Sahel region, including Mali and Niger, that are fighting Islamist insurgents. The military took power in a coup in 2022, blaming the government’s failure to put down a terrorist insurgency that emerged in 2015.

Sahara Reporters