Mali: The ruling junta suspends the French media RFI and France 24 For this reason, the Government Goïta denounced the “false allegations” of abuses committed against civilians by the Malian army and reported by these two French media.
The Malian government ordered the suspension of the broadcasting of RFI and France 24 throughout the country on the night of Wednesday 16 to Thursday 17. Indeed, the new authorities in power denounce the broadcasting of reports implicating the Malian armed forces and Wagner’s mercenaries in civilian killings. The militaries’ reaction was very spontaneous. They have initiated a procedure to suspend, until further notice, the broadcasting of RFI on shortwave and FM and France 24 television, as well as all their digital platforms.This decision comes in a context where the country seems to be in a tug of war with France. Thus, Bamako “categorically rejects these false allegations against the valiant Fama (Malian Armed Forces).
In a statement, government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga “forbids all national radio and television stations, as well as news websites and Malian newspapers, to rebroadcast and/or publish RFI and France 24 programmes and press articles”. The government spokesperson believes that “the actions of RFI and France 24 resemble, in the recent past, the practices and infamous role of the radio station ‘Mille Collines”” which encouraged the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
The response from Paris and the media suspended
French President Emmanuel Macron at a meeting to present his presidential programme said the suspension is the “This is a sign of a race to the bottom. Paris denounced on the same day, a “Serious infringement of press freedom” in Mali.Thus, he is indignant about the behaviour of Malian leaders who do not favour a climate of understanding. Following Bamako’s decision, France Medias Monde, the parent media of the suspended media, deplored the decision. Moreover, it strongly protests against unfounded accusations that seriously question the professionalism of its stations. However, it will“study all avenues of appeal to ensure that such a decision is not implemented and reiterates its unwavering commitment to the freedom to inform and the professional work of its journalists. ”
The EU called the decision ” unacceptable “.
For the EU, this decision is unacceptable. According to her, RFI and France 24, which cover African news closely, have a strong following in Mali. For its part, the NGO Reporters Without Borders “strongly” condemned the suspension, which it said would only “reinforce the ostracisation of the country”. Previously, on 8 February, Bamako expelled a special envoy of the French media “Jeune Afrique” a few hours after his arrival in the country.