Sat. Jul 13th, 2024
Joint Statement on Civilian Massacres and Media Suspensions in Burkina Faso

The following joint statement was released by the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States are gravely concerned by reports of massacres of civilians by Burkinabe military forces in late February.  A recent Human Rights Watch report details first-hand accounts of the execution of at least 223 civilians, including 56 children, in the villages of Nondin and Soro in Burkina Faso’s Yatenga province.  We call on the Transition Authorities to thoroughly investigate these massacres and hold those responsible to account.

We offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of all victims of violence perpetrated in Burkina Faso in recent months, including Christians and Muslims murdered by terrorist groups in their places of worship, and members of the armed forces who have been killed.  We call on all actors in Burkina Faso to respect human rights and adhere to international humanitarian law as applicable.  The only long-term solution to the scourge of terrorism is expanding good governance based on the rule of law, respect for human rights, and promotion of social cohesion.

We strongly oppose the suspensions of media outlets, including VOA and the BBC, the blocking of Human Rights Watch’s website, and restrictions placed on all media from reporting on their articles.  This decision coincides with World Press Freedom Day on May 3, which reminds us that societies are strengthened, not threatened, by well-informed publics and expressions of opinion.  Free and independent media must be permitted to conduct investigations and good-faith reporting without fear of reprisals.  We strongly urge Burkina Faso’s Superior Council of Communication (CSC) to reconsider its suspensions of media outlets.

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originally published at Politics - JISIP NEWS