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Rwanda:Journalists urged to fight genocide ideology as commemoration starts

April 7, 2021

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

Journalists and social media influencers in session with the President Paul Kagame during 25th celebrations of Liberation.

Rwanda Media Commission, a media self-regulatory body had urged journalists and social media users disseminating information to avoid disseminating content that negate, denial or hurt genocide survivors as Rwanda and the World remember victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

The Commemoration week starts on April 7 marking the beginning of hundred days of mourning the victims, a period signaling the 100 days of manslaughter where over one million of innocent lives were lost.

This year, the country commemorates the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi amid COVID-19 pandemic and mourners were urged to honor the fallen relatives while respecting the guidelines put in place by the government to curb the spread of the pandemic.  

The commemoration is being held under the theme: ‘Remember, Unite, Renew”

According to Cleophas Barore, the chairperson of Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) urged journalists to be careful whenever they are working on stories about the commemoration period and avoid anything that can disturb the minds of genocide survivors.

“RMC reminds journalists to be careful during this unusual period of 27th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi, journalists should use real terminologies that do not negate or deny genocide. Those who doubt such terminologies should seek clarifications from the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide,” said Barore in a statement released on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

The media self-regulatory body particularly urged online media outlets and social media users to be careful about the comments they should let out for readers.

“RMC particularly requests online media outlets and journalists using different social media users to disseminate information to be careful and ensure comments that are shared on the published stories do not promote hearted, discrimination and the content that hurt genocide survivors,” he added.

“RMC also uses this opportunity to request institutions organizing Kwibukla activities to facilitate media to get needed information during this commemoration period,” Barore noted.

Genocide ideology and negation remain a threat to unity and reconciliation in Rwanda as those spreading the ideology mainly use social media and media platforms.

Genocide ideology attracts between 5 and 15-year jail sentence if one is found guilty.

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