The decision was a response to “malicious” allegations aired by TV5Monde on June 17, according to Burkina Faso’s authorities © Hasselt/Getty Images

Burkina Faso’s media regulator has suspended TV5Monde for six months, accusing the French channel of spreading disinformation about the Sahel nation.

The broadcaster is additionally required to pay a fine of 50 million CFA francs ($82,000) for “breaching” regulatory laws, the Burkinabe Superior Council of Communication (CSC) said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the regulator, TV5Monde made “malicious insinuations, tendentious remarks bordering on disinformation, and assertions likely to minimize the efforts” of the country’s military government in a news feature on Monday. The broadcaster hosted Newton Ahmed Barry, a journalist and former president of the Independent National Electoral Commission, who is a popular critic of the military regime.

The CSC has issued a warning to the media outlet, urging it to treat information about the “security crisis” in Burkina Faso with “more professionalism.”

The French channel was previously suspended in Burkina Faso for two weeks on April 27 after it aired a Human Rights Watch report that accused the national army of killing civilians. The French newspapers Le Monde and Ouest-France, the British newspaper The Guardian, and the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) all had their websites blocked “until further notice.”

Relations between France and Burkina Faso have drastically weakened since the West African state’s military seized power in October 2022.

African nation expels French diplomats African nation expels French diplomats

In March last year, Ouagadougou scrapped a 1961 agreement on military assistance with Paris, which had been in place since the landlocked nation gained independence. It has since forced French troops to withdraw.

The military authorities expelled journalists from the French newspapers Le Monde and Liberation in April last year after previously suspending broadcasts by France 24 and Radio France International indefinitely.

The government accused the French outlets of publishing false reports and providing space for armed groups to legitimize terrorist actions in a country that has been grappling with jihadist insurgencies for nearly a decade. (RT)