The veteran war reporter Fergal Keane is stepping down from his role as BBC News’s Africa correspondent after several years of experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, the broadcaster has said.

Keane, who has reported from conflict zones across the world over several decades, including the Rwandan genocide, has decided to move away from the role to help his recovery, according to an internal announcement.

The announcement, directed at Keane’s colleagues, states: “The reasons behind the decision are personal. For several years, Fergal has been dealing privately with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stemming from several decades of work in conflict zones around the world.

“He has been supported throughout this time by friends and colleagues in News, as well as receiving professional medical advice. However, he now feels he needs to change his role in order to further assist his recovery. It is both brave and welcome that he is ready to be open about PTSD.”

The corporation praised Keane’s “insight, experience and thoughtfulness”, adding that the journalist was in discussions with the BBC over a new role “that will enable him to continue to provide original and compelling journalism”.

Keane would continue to “guide and nurture emerging talent in the UK and around the world”, it added.

The BBC Radio Ulster presenter Dearbhail McDonald was among those to tweet her support for the journalist. “We’ve all been inspired by Fergal Keane and will continue to be. Wishing him well in his recovery and his new role,” she wrote.

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