Burkina Faso expels French newspaper correspondents

photo caption,

Burkina Faso has taken a tough stance against France since captain Ibrahim Traore (center) came to power last year

Burkina Faso has expelled journalists from two leading French newspapers, in the latest move against France by the military junta in Burkina Faso.

Le Monde’s Sophie Douce and Libération’s Agnès Faivre have arrived in Paris after being given 24 hours to leave.

The expulsions came after a Liberation investigation published a video showing the execution of children in military barracks.

The authorities called it masked manipulation of the press.

Both newspapers condemned the expulsions as a major setback to press freedom in the former French colony.

Doss said plainclothes security officers visited her home on Saturday and said her credentials had been revoked.

Le Monde director Jerome Fenoglio said in a statement that Doss’ reports “apparently seemed intolerable” to the military regime that seized power in a coup last September.

Liberation said Pfeiffer’s investigation into the deaths of children and adolescents allegedly killed in military barracks is likely to displease the authorities.

“These restrictions on freedom of information are unacceptable and a sign of a power that refuses to allow its actions to be questioned,” she added.

The expulsion of the journalists is the latest sign of the regime of Captain Brahim Traoré’s crackdown on the French media.

It had earlier suspended the broadcasts of two state-owned media outlets, France 24 and Radio France International (RFI).

France 24 called the allegation defamatory, saying it had never invited the al-Qaeda leader to speak directly about its programmes, and “his words were simply quoted in column form, ensuring the necessary distance and context”.

In December, RFI was suspended after being accused of broadcasting false reports, which it denied.

Burkina Faso was once a staunch ally of France, but the military regime has been turning its back on the former colonial power.

Instead, he is seen as strengthening ties with Russia in a bid to defeat hardline Islamists who have wreaked havoc across the region.

In February, the French forces withdrew after being told to leave by the regime.

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