United States Agency for Global Media

Statement on government of Burundi’s extension of suspension of VOA programming

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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.

“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,” said VOA Director Amanda Bennett. “We stand with the people of Burundi against those who are restricting their access to accurate and reliable news and information.”

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 neighboring countries.

About VOA

Voice of America reaches a global weekly audience of more than 275.2 million people in 46 languages. VOA programs are delivered on satellite, cable, shortwave, FM, medium wave, streaming audio and video and more than 2,350 media outlets worldwide. It is funded by the U.S. Congress through the USAGM.

Find out more

Contact Bridget Serchak
Director of Public Relations, Office of Public Relations