Mali unhappy with media coverage of crisis, as fighting heats up
Malian officials have taken the media to task over their coverage of the ongoing fighting in the north of the country, while the army launches fresh airstrikes against positions of the National Liberation Movement of Azawad (MNLA).
The rebels are said to be trying to advance to towards the region’s biggest town, Kidal. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Malian international football star, Seydou Keita called for an end to the fighting.
But despite calls for a ceasefire fighting continues. Malian government helicopters are said to be pounding positions of rebels in the north-east to prevent their advance, in a conflict that has left thousands displaced and cause thousands of others to flee into neighbouring Niger.
Earlier, Mali’s Defense and Communication Ministers picked expressed dissatisfaction with the Media’s coverage of the hostilities by claiming that they “have not played their best role.”
Sidiki Nfa and Sadio Gassama registered their dissatisfaction during a meeting with media professionals in the capital, Bamako and reminded them of their heavy responsibility.
WADR’s correspondent Abdoul Karim Ba reports that it was not a press conference and said there were no questions and no exchanges between the Malian officials and Journalists.
But it was an opportunity for Sadio Gassama, who was appointed just two days ago the defense and war veterans minister and the communication minister to send a message about the ongoing crisis in the North to Media practitioners in Mali.
According to the Malian officials, the Media which played a major role in bringing democracy to the country are today going against that same democracy by broadcasting false information about the crisis in the north.
The Defense and Communication ministers were also unhappy about the way the media reported recent demonstrations staged in some major cities in the country and the looting that has made some people from North victims.
The Malian defense minister spoke of media reports describing as massive, desertion from the Malian army of 83 enlisted men during the attack on the city of Anderabukan to seek shelter in neighboring Niger.
Minister Gassama has promised Media houses that the Army information and public relations department (DIRPA) will fully play its role of liaison between the military high command and the Media by making any information available.
At the end of the meeting, the heads of private radio and the television stations were asked to make some recommendations, in order to prevent Mali’s stations from becoming like radio Mille Collines, which triggered the Rwanda genocide in 1994.Tweet