French journalist told to quit Senegal

French journalist Sophie Malibeaux has been ordered out of Senegal accused of trying to sabotage the peace process.

    French journalist Malibeaux was ordered to quit Senegal

    The French correspondent for Radio France Internationale (RFI) in Senegal was ordered to leave on Thursday after authorities in the West African nation accused her of biased reporting.

    Malibeaux was ordered out of Senegal because of what authorities said was her "biased coverage" of a meeting of separatist rebels from the southern Casamance region.

    Authorities accused her of trying to sabotage a fledgling peace process between the government and rebels.

    RFI's assistant director general in charge of broadcasting and information, Gilles Schneider, travelled to Dakar to argue that the expulsion order be lifted but to no avail.

    Obliged to leave

    "The series of meetings ... did not permit the lifting of this expulsion order. RFI deplores the fact that (Malibeaux) is obliged to leave Senegalese territory," RFI said in a statement published in the capital Dakar on Thursday.

    Malibeaux, who denies the charges, told Reuters she would leave Senegal on Friday.

    Her expulsion comes just two days after her colleague, Jean Helene, was shot dead by a policeman in nearby Ivory Coast, where civil war has split the country and inflamed anti-French sentiment and ethnic hatreds.

    The expulsion order was first issued during the Casamance meeting earlier this month but was suspended pending talks. RFI said it disputed the order and reaffirmed its confidence in Malibeaux.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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