BUJUMBURA, 28 January 2021 – Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye has directed the country’s media council to facilitate the reopening of media outlets currently suspended or banned.
“We want a fresh start with the media sector towards the country’s development,” Ndayishimiye told the leaders of the country’s media council.
The Burundian leader spoke during a meeting Thursday in the country’s economic capital, Bujumbura.
The Voice of America (VOA) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) are among media outlets that could benefit from the lifting of suspensions and bans.
Correspondents for the BBC and VOA were banned from reporting from Burundi in 2019.
Two FM broadcasters and one TV station accused of backing the 2015 coup in the country were ransacked, looted and burnt down in the wake of the coup..
They were subsequently banned or suspended from broadcasting from the country.
The two radio and one TV stations moved to neighboring Rwanda and have been broadcasting from there, beamed into Burundi and, according to certain studies, enjoying a large audience along with greater credibility.
It is unclear which media outlets will be allowed by the media council to resume activities, and it is also not known under what, if any, conditions such media outlets would have to reopen.