Journalists urged to fight Genocide deniers

KIGALI - The Rwandan media has been urged to play a leading role in telling the world the truth about the 1994 Genocide, and to fight revisionists wherever they may be.
Karugarama and Mushikiwabo.
Karugarama and Mushikiwabo.

KIGALI - The Rwandan media has been urged to play a leading role in telling the world the truth about the 1994 Genocide, and to fight revisionists wherever they may be.

The call was made by four Ministers during a press conference at Prime Holdings in Kigali Thursday.

The Ministers of Information, Justice, Culture and Foreign Affairs told journalists that media outlets had a responsibility to challenge those who seek to re-write the country’s history for political reasons.

President Paul Kagame  made the same call Tuesday when he urged the media not to sit back or dance to the tune of Genocide deniers, saying revisionist activities had a bearing on the nation as a whole.

Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama described the indictments against top military officers by judges Jean Louis Bruguière (French) and Spain’s Andreu Fernando Merrelles as “judicial sadism” aimed at traumatizing Rwandans.

“Indicting the ruling party is a way of denying Genocide, which seeks to make innocent Rwandans criminals while exonerating the real culprits,” said Karugarama.

“This report (Merrelles’) is full of racism, hatred and is clear disrespect. The local media should be able to inform people based on facts and challenge these false claims.” He explained.

The ministers pointed out that the forces promoting genocide ideology were within and outside the country and are spearheaded by a racket of genocide suspects and politicians who have managed to compromise the named judges.

Karugarama also said that the Spanish indictments had equally been disregarded by the international community.

Information Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said that the Government’s appeal to the media was not meant to teach journalists how to go about their job, but rather to remind them of their important role in telling the truth.

“We cannot sit back and look at such things happen. I know that the local media should probably be sent to the west, so as to ask questions and cover some of these issues. I hope this will happen,” she said.

Added Mushikiwabo: “However the media should be able to research and teach people about these happenings and help inform Rwandans so as to collectively fight the genocide ideology.”

Rosemary Museminari, the Foreign Affairs minister aid that the Government was doing all it could to fight such networks and urged Rwandans not to worry.

Journalists requested to know what the Government was doing to stop those hostile groups and the possibility of seeing other indictments. They also wondered whether giving to much attention to Genocide revisionists was not giving them importance they did not deserve.

Culture and Sports Minister Joseph Habineza said Rwandans should help the victims of the 1994 Genocide especially during the upcoming memorial week which runs from April 7 to 14.

Journalists also requested that their colleagues who were killed during the Genocide should be remembered in a special way just like politicians and sportsmen.


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