The correspondents of the French dailies Le Monde and Libération in Burkina Faso were expelled from this country on Saturday evening, April 1, announced Sunday their editors who denounce an "unacceptable" and "arbitrary" measure.

The two journalists arrived "Sunday morning in Paris," said Liberation.

"Our correspondent in Burkina Faso, Sophie Douce, has just been expelled from the country (...) at the same time as his colleague from Liberation, Agnès Faivre," says Le Monde on its website. "The sanction has fallen and, with it, confirmation that press freedom in Burkina Faso is heavily threatened," writes Libération.

Le Monde "condemns in the strongest terms this arbitrary decision that forced the two journalists to leave Ouagadougou in less than twenty-four hours." Sophie Douce, like her colleague, works for Le Monde Afrique in independent journalism, free from any pressure," he added.

The director of the newspaper, Jérôme Fenoglio, "asks the local authorities to reverse these decisions as soon as possible and to restore without delay the conditions for independent information in the country".

According to Libération, "Agnès Faivre and Sophie Douce are journalists of perfect integrity, who worked in Burkina Faso legally, with valid visas and accreditations issued by the Burkinabe government."

"We strongly protest against these absolutely unjustified expulsions and the ban on our journalists working independently," the newspaper added.

After an investigation by Libération

The two journalists had been summoned to national security in Ouagadougou on Friday and were then ordered to leave Burkina Faso within 24 hours.

Libération states that "the publication on March 27 of the investigation of Liberation on the circumstances in which was filmed a video showing children and adolescents executed in a military barracks, by at least one soldier, had obviously strongly displeased the junta in power in Burkina Faso".

"The government strongly condemns these manipulations disguised as journalism to tarnish the image of the country of honest men," wrote Burkinabe government spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouédraogo after the publication of this investigation, assuring that the army acts "in strict compliance with international humanitarian law".

On Monday, Burkina Faso, ruled by authorities following two coups in 2022 and facing a multiplication of deadly jihadist attacks, had cut the broadcasting of the French news channel France 24 on its territory.

In early December, the ruling junta had already suspended the broadcasting of Radio France Internationale (RFI), the same group as France 24, France Médias Monde.

With AFP

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