New York, July 19, 2005—
Independent station Radio Publique Africaine (RPA) went off air yesterday, after a compromise was reached with the National Communications Council, according to local sources. RPA agreed to a 2-day suspension, on the understanding that Thursday, the council—known by its French acronym CNC—will lift its original ban, which would have required the station to close down indefinitely.
"We will resume broadcasts on Thursday morning, even if the CNC drags its feet," RPA deputy director Jean-Marie Hicuburundi told CPJ from Bujumbura, the capital. He said the shortened ban was still unfair, but that RPA had thought it necessary to respect a compromise negotiated by media professionals. The agreement was mediated by an association of Burundian journalists, an association of private radio broadcasters, and the Burundian Press Observatory, a self-regulatory organization for the profession.