BBC Closes Down Operations In Burundi
30 July 2019
The British public radio broadcaster BBC has decided to shut down its Burundi bureau following disagreements with the government over the airing of programmes.
Larry Madowo, BBC's Africa Business Editor, said that all efforts towards settling a recent dispute over the ban on BBC transmissions had failed.
Madowo tweeted that the BBC would shut down its Bujumbura bureau and stop all operations in Burundi because, in March, the government decided to ban BBC transmissions and block Burundi's journalists from providing news to the BBC.
Burundi's broadcast regulator, the National Communication Council (CNC), suspended BBC accusing it of airing content that allegedly placed national reconciliation and cohesion at risk.
At the time, the Chairman of CNC, Nestor Bankumukunzi, said that the regulator had decided to indefinitely suspend the operating licence for BBC and that all foreign and Burundian journalists in the country were barred from giving news directly or indirectly to the BBC.
In 2018, BBC Africa Eye broadcast an expose titled Inside the Secret Killing House. The documentary exposed the killing and torture of many opposition members by Burundi's soldiers in secret detention facilities.
The airing of this documentary angered the government and led it to the decision to withdraw BBC's licence.
Burundi has for many years been accused of shutting down media companies that are critical of the government and has been known to harass, torture, imprison and execute journalists who reported news that was not in favour of the state.