The Burundi Communications Commission has banned the transmission of programming from both the BBC and VOA, and banned journalists from working for them.
It is reported that the ban not only affects local journalists, but also foreign journalists in the country also.
VOA said in a statement; “The Voice of America condemns the Burundi Communications Commission’s decisions to extend the indefinite suspension of VOA programming and to ban BBC broadcasts. Since these outrageous restrictions were first imposed in May of 2018, Burundians have been denied independent, objective journalism.
“Before Burundi suspended broadcasts, VOA content reached 57 percent of adults each week. Independent research surveys showed that more than 90 percent of that audience reported that they trust the news and information that VOA provided.
“VOA content will continue to be available in Kirundi and Kinyarwanda via shortwave channels, on the Internet and on FM transmitters located in neighbouring countries.”
VOA Director, Amanda Bennett said; “We are alarmed that reporters in Burundi are now forbidden to communicate with VOA and believe these continuing threats to our journalists undermine press freedom in the country. We stand with the people of Burundi against those who are restricting their access to accurate and reliable news and information.”
The BBC also released a statement in which they said; “We believe it is vital for people around the world to have access to impartial, accurate and independent journalism, including the 1.3 million people in Burundi who currently rely on BBC News.”