Panafrican News Agency

The Maison de la presse du Mali urges national and foreign media to be 'responsible'

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - The Maison de la presse du Mali (Press House) on Friday urged national and foreign media to be "responsible" and work to support the Malian armed and security forces in the fight against terrorism.

In a statement following the decision of the Malian transitional government to suspend the broadcasting of two French broadcast organisations -- RFI and France 24 -- the umbrella organisation of journalists said it remained determined to defend press freedom in the best interests of the West African country. 

It said it hoped that this unprecedented decision would be in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in Mali, in particular the referral to the High Authority for Communication (HAC), the media regulatory body.

On Wednesday, the Malian transitional government announced in a statement signed by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, that it was initiating a procedure to suspend the broadcasting of the French media organisations, RFI and France 24, until further notice.

The Malian government has accused them of making "false allegations" of abuses committed by the armed forces against civilians, and of violating human rights and international humanitarian law.

The government said that these "false allegations are without any foundation".

On Thursday, the Minister of Communication, Harouna Toureh, met with Malian media professional organisations to explain the reasons for the suspension of the two French media organisations.

Toureh urged national media actors to refrain from carrying information that could be harmful to the "mobilisation of the people and the morale of the Malian armed and security forces engaged on the fronts to defend the population".

The two French media organisations are off air in Mali on Friday.

-0- PANA GT/JSG/BBA/MA 18March2022