The government of Burkina Faso resulting from a coup d’etat has decided to suspend “until further notice” the broadcasting of Radio Oméga, one of the most listened to in the country, after the broadcast Thursday of an interview “enamelled with insulting remarks against the new Nigerien authorities”.
The government “assumes full responsibility for the decision to suspend from this Thursday, August 10 and until further notice, the broadcasting of Radio Omega programs in the name of the best interests of the Nation”, indicates the Minister of Communication Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo in a press release.
This decision follows the broadcast on Radio Oméga of an interview, during the program “L’invité de la drafting”, with the spokesperson of a movement recently created in Niger which wishes to restore President Mohamed Bazoum, overthrown by a coup on July 26.
Radio Omega, a subsidiary of the Omega Media group which also has a television channel, owned by journalist and former Foreign Minister Alpha Barry, had ceased broadcasting after the release of the press release.
She denounced Friday an “unfair and unfounded decision”, and will “use all avenues of appeal”. She considers that this suspension “without notice and without prior notification of the structure in charge of media regulation is a flagrant violation of the laws in force and an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press”.
The radio also claims that its suspension comes after “numerous death threats against Radio Oméga leaders and journalists from people presenting themselves as supporters of the government and who insistently call for the suspension of our programs”.
In the interview incriminated by the government, Ousmane Abdoul Moumouni, pro-Bazoum, would have made “insulting remarks against the new Nigerien authorities”, according to Mr. Ouédraogo.
According to the Burkinabè government, Ousmane Abdoul Moumouni’s organization “clearly militates for violence and war against the sovereign people of Niger” and the will of his movement is to put President Bazoum back in power by “all means”.
The transitional authorities of Burkina Faso, who came to power by a coup in September 2022, very quickly showed their solidarity with the soldiers who took power in Niger.
Several media outlets have been suspended in Burkina in recent months, including French outlets LCI, RFI and France 24. At the beginning of April, the correspondents of Liberation and Le Monde had been expelled.