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November 17 - 23, 2014

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda
Posted on November 23, 2014

1. Rwandan media body wants BBC producer charged with genocide denial
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 20th November 2014
“‘Media body wants BBC producer charged with genocide denial” by Edwin Musoni

  • The Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) has said that the BBC documentary, 'Rwanda's Untold Story', violated both media ethics and principles, and has called for the prosecution of those involved with its production.
  • RMC chairperson Fred Muvunyi said that the documentary producer Jane Corbin committed a crime of genocide denial and inciting hatred.
  • The RMC Commission, led by the former Prosecutor-General Martin Ngoga, told that genocide denial was an international crime punishable by law. "Any person, whether Rwandan or foreigner, a Rwandan or foreign non-governmental organisation or association, that commits, inside or outside the Rwandan territory, or cross-border crimes may, if apprehended on the territory of the Republic of Rwanda, be prosecuted and tried by Rwandan courts in accordance with Rwandan laws as if any of the following crimes had been committed in Rwanda," he said.
2. Will seven-steps plan end FDLR activity?
Private independent newspapers

News of Rwanda, 19th November 2014
„Seven steps to end FDLR impunity in DR Congo“

  • In its latest assessment, Washington-based Enough Project group gives some policy options on how to end the FDLR's 20-year reign of terror:
  1. Regional diplomacy. U.N. Special Envoy Said Djinnit should repair relations between Rwanda and South Africa as well as relations between Rwanda and Tanzania. The aim should be to forge regional consensus for both military operations and non-military measures to neutralize the FDLR.
  2. Cutting off the FDLR's economic lifelines: charcoal. Said Djinnit, U.S. Special Envoy Russ Feingold, and U.N. Special Representative Martin Kobler should press the MONUSCO and the Congolese police to support the Virunga park rangers in interdicting the FDLR's supply routes for charcoal from Virunga National Park to Goma.
  3. Accountability for Congolese army officers. Djinnit, Feingold, Kobler, and Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos should pressure on the Congolese government to investigate, suspend, and indict Congolese military officers who are suspected of collaborating with the FDLR.
  4. Work to apprehend FDLR leader SylvestreMudacumura and encourage public indictments. Djinnit, Feingold, and dos Santos should urge MONUSCO and the Congolese government to cooperate with the ICC, apprehend Mudacumura, and strengthen the case against him. The envoys should also encourage regional governments to develop investigations and public indictments against FDLR, M23, and other high-level persons accused of committing grave atrocity crimes.
  5. Third-country resettlement. Djinnit, European Union Representative KoenVervaeke, and Feingold should negotiate with countries outside the Great Lakes region and develop concrete options for resettlement for FDLR combatants who are not indicted for atrocity crimes and who have a fear of return to Rwanda.
  6. Refugees. Djinnit, Feingold, and Kobler should work with the UNHCR to set up protected camps for refugees in eastern Congo. The envoys should also ensure that MONUSCO provides security for the camps.
  7. Security guarantees. Djinnit, Feingold, and dos Santos should work with Rwanda to provide an improved security plan with non-prosecution guarantees for FDLR combatants not indicted for grave crimes.
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 23rd November 2014
“‘Who will end the FDLR menace?” by James Karuhanga

  • The author of this article hesitates whether the seven-steps plan by Enough Project is realizable.
  • According to Karuhanga, it will be very difficult to force Kinshasa to cooperate with MONUSCO and to untie its relations with FDLR because their ties are economically and politically beneficial. The militia is reportedly generating revenue mainly by trading gold and by illegally producing and trading charcoal, a trade worth an estimated $32 million annually.
  • One cannot also count on support of South Africa and Tanzania part due to business interests with Kinshasa related to the Inga III mega-dam and because of strained relations with Rwanda. Genocide scholar Tom Ndahiro doubts Tanzania’s determination to fight FDLR when its foreign minister called the FDLR 'freedom fighters.'
  • Some analysts say, the militia will, as it did in May, send another dead beat group of their own to a disarmament centre only to postpone military action.
  • Another problem is a chief of UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations Frenchman Hervé Ladsous who defends his government's policies, including aiding the escape of the masterminds of the Genocide into eastern DRC or lifting a travel ban for FDLR president Gaston Rumuli Iyamuremye.
3. National Commission released its report on state of human rights in Rwanda
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 18th November 2014
“‘Govt agencies told to act on rights report” by Athan Tashobya

  • The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has urged government agencies to take measures to address issues highlighted in its report in relation to violation of human rights in Rwanda.
  • The report noted that a positive trend in the respect of human rights was observed in the country during the reporting period 2013/2014. Improvements were mostly observed in the judicial sector, governance and management of land resources.
  • But Madeleine Nirere, the commission's chairperson said more improvement was needed in service delivery at all levels of government and called for more facilitation for journalists to access public information and for inmates' rights in prisons to be improved.
  • Nirere faulted public organs which she said take long to implement recommendations the commission makes with regard to human rights violations. She declined to name the organs in question.
  • The report indicates that the commission received 1,116 cases with 654 of the total cases being forwarded to relevant government institutions for action. About 63 per cent of the cases were resolved while 253 are still under investigations.
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