Malian authorities permanently withdraw licenses from French media

Mali’s High Authority for Communication has announced the decision to permanently suspend French media outlets Radio France International and France 24, two of the West African country’s most listened-to news outlets.

This is the first time that the Malian government has withdrawn the operating license of foreign media.

“The Radio France International, RFI and France 24 channels are definitively withdrawn from the subscriptions of all distributors of audiovisual programs and the platforms and sites of online media organizations and mobile telephone operators”, indicates the organization’s press release.

Mali’s High Authority for Communication called on the government to implement the decision.

On March 17, the Malian government announced a temporary suspension of the two media, which it accused of reporting “false allegations of abuses committed by the Malian Armed Forces against civilians, and violations of human and IHL”.

France Médias Monde strongly contested the withdrawal of its license and stated that it would use all other means possible to disseminate information.

“We will continue to cover news from Mali which is of interest to all of Africa and the rest of the world. All technical solutions will be implemented to make our media accessible to Malians who wish to continue to receive free, expert information that is open to the world,” the media said.

He reaffirmed his “attachment to independence and freedom of information”.

A crisis in relations between Mali and France is escalating as the European nation has begun pulling out soldiers it has stationed there since 2013, when they helped oust Islamic extremists from northern strongholds.

The accusation came after France released videos appearing to show Russian mercenaries burying bodies near a military base in northern Mali, which had been handed over by the French to Malian forces.

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