A spate of coups in Africa’s Sahel region has prevented journalists from accurately covering the area’s many crises, according to a report published on Monday by Reporters Without Borders. If instability and military-led crackdowns on press freedoms continue, the Sahel could become “Africa’s largest information blackout zone,” the report said.
The report was published shortly after journalists with two French newspapers were expelled from Burkina Faso. The region, which has seen seven coups in the past three years, stretches across Africa and includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and parts of Benin.
Foreign correspondents have been caught between violent armed groups and military governments who distrust and restrict foreign journalists, according to the report. More than 100 journalists have been arrested or detained in the region over the past 10 years, and five have been killed.