France has strongly condemned the suspension of RFI (Radio France Internationale) and France 24 broadcasts in Niger, following the July 26, 2023 coup that deposed President Mohammed Bazoum.

A French official who spoke to the media expressed the French government’s disapproval, stating that the action, ordered by the coup plotters, constitutes a grave violation of international conventions on press freedom and access to information.

“France strongly condemns the suspension of RFI and France 24 broadcasts in Niger by the coup plotters. This action is a gross violation of international conventions on press freedom and the right to access information and media pluralism, which ought to be respected by all,” the official said.

Additionally, the official highlighted that the current situation in Niger is deeply concerning, with numerous human rights violations taking place.

“What is happening in Niger currently is a regime of repression by the coup plotters. The repression is taking various forms, the first being the holding of President Bazoum hostage – the only person recognized by the international community as the democratically elected and legitimate representative of the people of Niger.”

The official further emphasized, “aside from holding the president hostage, there are ongoing arbitrary arrests, primarily targeting members of the government and civil society. This suspension of broadcasts adds to the growing list of worrying developments in Niger. Therefore, we strongly condemn it and denounce the violation of these fundamental freedoms.”

In a related development, France has refuted claims of exploitation of Niger resources. It has denied any involvement in gold mining within the West African nation. Regarding Niger’s uranium, French authorities assert that the resource is processed and exported through various foreign private companies, with only one of them being of French origin. The other companies responsible for the uranium trade are Japanese and Canadian, refuting the claim that France monopolizes Niger’s resources.

Source: Ghana/ Dedei Tettey