BUJUMBURA June 18th (ABP) – The Deputy Chairman of the National Media Council (CNC), Mr. Laurent Kaganda, announced on Wednesday June 16, 2021 the lifting of sanctions against that were taken against the online newspaper Ikiriho and the British Broadcasting Corporation ( BBC), during a press briefing organized at CNC headquarters.
According to Kaganda, the CNC’s Executive Board met on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 to analyze the case of BBC’s request to lift the broadcast ban on BBC World Service in Burundi. That analysis follows on from the meeting held on January 28, 2021 by Burundi Head of State Evariste Ndayishimiye for media officials and spokespersons of ministries and other institutions.
During that meeting, the Head of State asked the CNC to sit down together with media officials under sanctions to explore ways to lift those sanctions.
In the case of the BBC World Service in Burundi, the decision to withdraw the operating license was taken on March 29, 2019, recalled Mr. Kaganda, indicating that the station officials have kept asking, via Mrs. Anne Marie Nwaobasi, Director of Business Development for Francophone Africa based in Dakar, Senegal, authorization to reissue. After an exchange, the members of the CNC’s executive board noted that there is no longer any obstacle preventing the BBC World Service in Burundi from being authorized to introduce a new request for operation for the smooth running of the procedure.
For the online newspaper Ikiriho, the CNC’s executive board had an interview with the Director General of that newspaper and agreed on the modalities for its reopening. The two parties agreed on the correspondence requesting the reopening of the said newspaper in which the Director General asks the CNC to intercede with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic and reiterates his commitment to work in accordance with the law and for the best interests of the nation.
The general prosecutor’s office recommended to the head of the newspaper Ikiriho to take all measures to respect his editorial line and not fall back into the errors that had been the basis of its suspension. Thus, those sanctions were lifted on Wednesday June 16, 2021.
Mr. Kaganda said that for other media under sanctions that have not yet benefited from such measures, dialogue will continue with officials in order to reach a consensus.