Rwanda bans BBC local broadcasts

Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during the genocideRwanda has suspended BBC broadcasts in the local language Kinyarwanda because of what it says is bias in BBC reports concerning the 1994 genocide.

A statement announcing the temporary ban singled out a programme it said amounted to blatant denial of genocide against the Tutsi and moderate Hutu.

The editor of the BBC programme denied that there had been any bias.

He said that the programme had offered to include a government spokesman in the programme, but it had declined.

The government added that Rwanda believed in differences of opinion and press freedom and had patiently continued to seek common ground and co-operation on the part of the BBC Great Lakes leadership.

But broadcasts giving free scope to “genocidaires and negationists of the genocide” would not be tolerated, said Minister of Information Louise Mushikiwabo on Rwanda Radio.

The editor of the BBC programme, broadcast at the weekend, Ally Mugenzi, said the difficulties had arisen because of the interpretation which the government was putting on the genocide.