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October 13 - 19, 2014

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda
Posted on October 19, 2014

1. Mushikiwabo refuted claims that Rweru bodies were from Rwanda
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 17th October 2014
“‘Mushikiwabo: Burundi yet to grant probe of Rweru bodies” by Ivan R. Mugisha

  • The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, has rebutted claims by a Burundian official that bodies discovered on the shores of Lake Rweru were from Rwanda.
  • Mushikiwabo reacted to a statement of Burundi’s Prosecutor-General Valentin Bagorikunda. He told reporters that he was “certain” the bodies had originated from Rwanda, although he did not provide evidence to back his claims.
  • “I only heard about what was said by the Prosecutor-General of Burundi from the media. What he said was not true…he did not provide any evidence showing that these bodies originated from Rwanda or that they are Rwandans,” Mushikiwabo told journalist. She added that the Prosecutor did not mention the number of bodies, the names of the victims or how they were killed.
2. Global researchers and Rwandan officials protest against BBC documentary
Private pro-government newspapers

New Times, 14th October 2014
„Global researchers protest BBC Genocide revisionist film“ by James Munyaneza

  • A group of 38 eminent scholars, researchers, historians and journalists from around the world has demanded that the BBC apologises for broadcasting a documentary earlier this month which they say distorts the reality about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
  • In a letter to the Director-General of the BBC, Tony Hall, the researchers expressed “grave concern at the content of the documentary ‘Rwanda’s Untold Story’. They accuse the BBC of recycling the same revisionist material that had for years been “distributed far and wide as part of an on-going ‘Hutu Power’ campaign of genocide denial.“
  • The film, which carries interviews with a group of known opponents of President Paul Kagame’s government and justice fugitives, has provoked protests from Genocide survivors in the UK as well as demonstrations at the BBC headquarters in London.
  • The petitioners are mostly worried about three untenable claims:
    • The first is a lie about the true nature of the Hutu Power militia. The programme allows a witness to claim that „only ten percent of the Interahamwe were killers“. In fact, the majority of Hutu Power militia forces – estimated to have been 30,000 strong – were trained specifically to kill Tutsi at speed. There is eyewitness testimony by several militia leaders who cooperated with the ICTR.
    • The second is an attempt to minimize the number of Tutsi murdered in the genocide, with some two controversial American researchers revising the number of the Tutsi victims from an estimated one million people to 200,000. The duo of US academics worked for a team of lawyers defending the génocidaires at the ICTR. They even claim that in 1994 more Hutu than Tutsi were murdered – an absurd suggestion and contrary to all the widely available research reported by AI, UNICEF, UNHCR, Oxfam, HRW, etc.
    • The third is an effort to place the blame for shooting down President Habyarimana’s plane on April 6, 1994 on the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The film does not pay any attention to a detailed expert report by a French magistrate Judge Marc Trévidic. This contains evidence from French experts, who proved that the missiles that shot down the plane came from the governmentrun barracks in Kanombe near to the airport.
  • The film-maker, Jane Corbin, who presented the programme, even tries to raise doubts about whether or not the RPF stopped the genocide.
  • The letter was among others signed by Professor Linda Melvern, Senator Roméo Dallaire, Professor Frank Chalk.

New Times, 17th October 2014
„Mushikiwabo: Burundi yet to grant probe of Rweru bodies” by Ivan R. Mugisha

  • Minister Mushikiwabo warned that Rwanda will react in “equal measure” to a documentary produced by BBC which she thinks is politically motivated. She said that the government was now trying to find out who exactly is behind this film. “This country is where it is not by accident but because of the hard work done by Rwandans and their leader Paul Kagame. He is the choice of Rwandans and not the BBC,“ she added.

New Times, 15th October 2014
„Kagame speaks out on BBC Genocide denial” by Edwin Musoni

  • President Paul Kagame criticised BBC for producing and broadcasting a documentary that denies the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Kagame said the film constituted “cynicism of the highest order.”
  • “The opposite of what they tell us they stand for is what they have done against us. They chose to tarnish Rwandans, to dehumanise them, and deny the very genocide they reported on. This is coming from a part of the world that has a lot of instructions to give us about freedoms. This is not the first time, we see it every day, every week, every month in all forms,“ said Kagame.
  • He also pointed out that BBC gave a platform to terorrists, in an apparent reference to Kayumba Nyamwasa and Theogene Rudasingwa of RNC – the political party linked to a spate of grenade attacks in the country in recent years –who featured prominently in the BBC documentary. “Would they give the same platform to ISIS?” President Kagame challenged.
3. Mushikiwabo hopes that the FDLR will no longer exist
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 19th October 2014
„Military chiefs review Eastern DR Congo security“ by Ivan R. Mugisha & James Karuhanga

  • Foreign affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo, has said that the international community should act upon its promise and immediately disarm or “eradicate” the FDLR. She spoke ahead of a meeting of security chiefs of the ICGLR and the SADC in Angola to assess the security situation in the Eastern DR Congo.
  • “As far as the government is concerned, the shelf life of FDLR has expired... This is an armed group associated with genocide, so I hope that everybody would want to fight them. What we want as Rwanda is political will from the world,“ said Mushikiwabo.
  • Mushikiwabo also said that Rwanda as a country cannot singlehandedly wage military action against the FDLR, because complex regional and international politics. In her own word: „The politics of the region, mingled with non-regional acts, have given FDLR the conducive environment to exist for over two decades – and it is difficult for Rwanda to say that we are going to deal robustly with the FDLR… What is in our power as a country is to make sure that our borders and people are protected from FDLR actions and ideologies – and trust me whatever the situation; we are ready.”
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