The government of Senegal shut down the country's leading radio station for most of the day Monday after it broadcast an interview with a separatist leader.

Nineteen employees of Sud FM were charged with violating national security laws following the airing of the interview with Salif Sadio, leader of the armed wing of the secessionist Democratic Forces Movement of Casamance.

In the interview, Mr. Sadio pledged to end what he called the Senegalese occupation of Casamance province.

Interior Minister Ousamane Ngom told state radio that he had ordered the station closed in the interest of national security.

Radio Sud staffers tell Voice of America's French to Africa Service that other media outlets in Senegal plan to publish and broadcast the interview with Mr. Sadio on Tuesday.