Panafrican News Agency

Malian government suspends RFI and France 24 broadcasts until further notice

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - The Malian government announced on Wednesday a procedure to suspend until further notice the broadcasting of Radio France Internationale (RFI) on shortwave and FM and France 24 TV.

This is contained in a statement signed by its Minister of Territorial Administration and spokesperson, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga.

According to the statement, the measure will also affect all digital platforms of these media organisations throughout the country.

In addition, the rebroadcasting and publication of RFl and France 2 programmes and press articles will also be banned for national radio and television stations, as well as for news websites and Malian newspapers, as soon as the suspension measure comes into force.

These decisions come after the media concerned broadcast allegations of abuses committed by the Malian Armed Forces (FAMAs) against civilians and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

The government claims that these "baseless allegations" were published on 8 March in a statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet as well as in a report by the NGO Human Right Watch on 15 March 2022 and in a report by RFI on 14 and 15 March 2022.

"Considering the timing of this media hype, the Malian government deduces a cleverly premeditated strategy aimed at destabilising the transition, demoralising the Malian people and discrediting the valiant Malian Armed Forces", the Malian government's communiqué sais.

It said the government "categorically rejects these allegations against the Malian National Army".

According to the statement, some of the allegations, particularly those made by RFI, have no other purpose than "to sow hatred by ethnicising the insecurity in Mali and reveal the criminal intent of journalists, some of whom have not been in Mali" for more than a year.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/SOC/BBA/MA 17March2022