The BBC will close its operations in Burundi after it failed to reach an agreement with the government on the airing of programs.
“The BBC is closing its Bujumbura bureau and ceasing operations in Burundi. In March, the government banned BBC transmissions and blocked journalists from providing information to the BBC," Mr. Madowo tweeted.
One of the BBC correspondents, Will Ross, who works on the African Edition, has also announced that the BBC closed down its office until further notice.
“The BBC is closing its bureau and operations in Burundi until further notice after efforts to resolve issues with the authorities there failed. In March the government banned BBC transmissions and anyone in the country from providing information to the BBC, Will Ross wrote on Twitter.
Will Ross, a BBC journalist working on the Africa section, has added that “the government of Burundi accused BBC of airing a documentary that damaged the country’s reputation".
Burundi’s media regulator, the National Communication Council (CNC), suspended BBC for allegedly broadcasting content that ‘put national cohesion and reconciliation at stake.’
“The CNC has decided to withdraw the operating license for BBC... and VOA programs will still be suspended until further notice,” CNC chairman Nestor Bankumukunzi said at the time.
Burundi ranks 159 out of 180 on the World Press Freedom Index by advocacy group Reporters Without Borders.
Burundi is accused of shutting down media organizations critical of the government, harassing, imprisoning, torturing, and executing journalists.