BURKINA FASO


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NOVEMBER 5, 2004
Posted: November 15, 2004

Mathieu N'do, San Finna
IMPRISONED

Security forces arrested N'do, managing editor of the pro-opposition weekly San Finna, at the airport in the capital, Ouagadougou, as he was returning from neighboring Ivory Coast. N'do had traveled to Ivory Coast to report on ongoing tensions between government and rebel forces. The journalist was held incommunicado until November 11, when he was released without charge.

Local journalists believe N'do's detention was linked to his journalistic work, which is often critical of the Burkina Faso government. In particular, N'do has been an outspoken critic of government policy in Ivory Coast, where Burkina Faso has been accused of arming the rebellion. While in detention, N'do was questioned about his trip to Ivory Coast, and whether he had made contact with government authorities there, according to the journalist.

Ivory Coast remains divided between the government-controlled south and rebel-held north. In early November, government forces in Ivory Coast launched military air strikes on rebel positions in the north of the country, breaking a ceasefire in force since 2003.

N'do is also a spokesperson for the opposition National Union for Democracy and Development (known by its French acronym, UNDD). UNDD president Hermann Yaméogo, a critic of Burkina Faso's policies in the region, has been accused by the government of selling information to foreign governments and organizations.