March 24, 2021

Burundian Radios Operating from Rwanda Suspend Broadcasts

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The announcement issued Wednesday

Three online radio stations operated by exiled Burundian journalists have announced they are suspending broadcasts.

The radios; Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), Télé Renaissance and Radio Inzamba – all released a joint statement this Wednesday announcing the decision to halt operations immediately.

These media platforms were also operating highly popular YouTube channels.

Some of the editors of these media are included on a long list of people convicted in absentia by Burundi late last year over their alleged involvement in the failed 2015 coup. Renegade troups attempted to oust President Pierre Nkurunziza, who died last year.

Rwanda and Burundi under current President Evariste Ndayishimiya, have been in secret talks since August last year. Among Burundi’s demands is that all those on its list must be extradited, which Kigali has publicly dismissed.

Burundi has accused Rwanda of aiding the coup plotters, and when it failed, hosting them in Kigali to continue destabilizing it. Kigali for its part, has denied the allegations, saying the problems in Burundi are purely internal.

More than 100 journalists fled Burundi after government targeted their media houses for allegedly backing the coup. RPA for example was a well established and respected broadcaster before it was closed in Burundi.

The three media that announced they were going off air today, said they had done so at “own will”.

“The way forward will be communicated later,” added the statement.

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