Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Malian junta orders French broadcasters RFI, France 24 off air

Mali’s ruling junta ordered French broadcasters RFI and France 24 off the air on Wednesday night, complaining they had falsely accused the army of committing abuses.

The government in Bamako “categorically rejects these false accusations against the courageous FAMA (Malian Armed Forces),” spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said.

The junta is “initiating proceedings… to suspend broadcasts by RFI and France 24 … until further notice,” he continued.

RFI and France 24 were still broadcasting on Thursday morning in the conflict-ridden Sahel nation.

There is no recent precedent in Mali for major foreign news media to be taken off the air.

RFI (Radio France Internationale) and France 24 cover African news extensively and have a strong following in the former French colony.

The junta, which seized power in August 2020, said there had been “false accusations” in a report early in the week in which RFI aired comments from alleged victims of abuse by the army and shadowy Russian mercenary group Wagner.

Maiga said Malian news websites, newspapers and its national radio and TV stations were all “banned from rebroadcasting and/or publishing programmes and news articles put out by RFI and France 24”.

He compared the French broadcasters to Rwanda’s Radio Mille Collines — a notorious outlet that incited listeners to exterminate minority Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. AFP