New York, September 19, 2003—Today, the Ministry of Communications lifted the ban against Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), which was ordered shut “for an indefinite period” on Tuesday, September 16.
The order stemmed from an interview the station aired with Pasteur Habimana, a spokesman for the rebel National Liberation Forces, about the government’s closure of the popular, private Radio Isanganiro. Journalists at RPA said that they received the Ministry’s decision to lift the ban in writing, and that the news was also broadcast on state radio.
Meanwhile, yesterday, the Burundian National Communication Council (CNC) shortened the government’s ban on Radio Isanganiro to five days, effectively lifting the ban immediately. On September 13, the radio station was ordered closed for airing a discussion featuring Habimana. Local journalists said that Radio Isanganiro began broadcasting again this morning.
Private radio stations Bonesha FM, CCIB FM, Radio Isanganiro, and RPA announced an end to their boycott on reporting government activities after Radio Isanganiro went back on-air, according to local journalists.