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Burkina Faso junta suspends popular radio station for criticising Niger coup



A popular radio station in Burkina Faso has been suspended by the country’s military junta for criticising the coup in Niger Republic.

The station, Radio Omega, was suspended indefinitely by the military-led government after it broadcast an interview which was deemed “insulting” to Niger’s new military leaders.

The suspension notice issued by the country’s Communications Minister Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo on Thursday, said Radio Omega was immediately suspended “until further notice, in the higher interests of the nation.”

The “offensive” interview had Ousmane Abdoul Moumouni, the spokesman of a newly-established Nigerien group campaigning to return President Mohamed Bazoum to power.

The station which is part of the Omega Medis Group is owned by journalist and former foreign minister Alpha Barry, has been off the air since the announcement was made.

Read also: Burkina Faso expels two French journalists for questioning freedom of speech

In a press conference, Ouedraogo who is also the government spokesman, said the radio station contravened the laws when Moumouni allegedly made “insulting comments about the new Nigerien authorities.”

“His organisation is clearly campaigning for violence and war against the sovereign people of Niger and seeks to restore Bazoum by every means,” Ouedraogo said.

Burkina Faso is one of the three West African countries that have shown solidarity with the Nigerien junta following the coup on July 26 led by Maj. Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani which ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

The Burkinabe authorities which also came into power through a coup, had last year, suspended French TV outlets LCI and France24 as well as Radio France Internationale and expelled the correspondents of the French newspapers Liberation and Le Monde.

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