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President Ouattara dismisses RTI director

(MFWA/IFEX) - President Alassane Ouattara on July 30, 2011 dismissed Brou Aka Pascal, Director-General of the Ivorian Broadcasting Corporation (RTI), and replaced him with Aka Sayé Lazare.

A communiqué issued by President Ouattara's Chief of Staff said that what prompted the dismissal was the failure of RTI to cover the return of President Ouattara from his goodwill and working visit to the United States.

The communiqué also said that RTI was being mismanaged by Brou, a close associate of President Ouattara, who was reportedly in the Hotel du Golf during the country's recent political crisis.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) regrets that the government of President Ouattara is not allowing RTI to operate as a true public broadcasting service.

"We believe that regulation of RTI and other state media in Cote d'Ivoire should be handled by the National Council for Broadcast Communication (CNCA). It is the duty of the CNCA to ensure that RTI become a free and independent public broadcaster, governed by an independent board and protected from political and economic interference.

"We appeal to President Ouattara to respect the independence of RTI and other state media in the country. This is the only way to ensure the necessary conditions for genuine democracy in Cote d'Ivoire."

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