At this time 15 years ago Rwanda was at the height of massacres that left over a million people dead – in the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The world watched silently while neighbour turned against neighbour, putting into practice years of indoctrination of ethnic hatred. The Genocide ideology was taught in schools, preached in churches and replayed in the homes.
The world media was shamelessly silent during the massacres. An ‘African safari’ to report on massacres at this time in the little known ‘tiny central African country’ was neither adventurous nor sexy.
There were no accolades to be won, no awards or badges of honour.
Thus as the 15th Commemorations of the Genocide go on, there exists very little recorded memory in the form of footage by many of the international media houses on the Genocide.
They were not there. Making them complicit in the international community’s silence on the human carnage; having failed in the role of the media of informing and stopping the carnage.
Making an absurdity out of the current posturing by the local BBC journalists of being messengers of truth, who have chosen to swallow hook, line and sinker – the negationist and revisionist gospel of the Genocide.
Begging the questions whose mission or brief the public broadcaster is on?
The BBC’s reporting at this time of mourning is crudely described by Gerald Caplan; “denial is like another cut with a machete.”
Rwandans have refused another ‘cut with a machete’ demanding respect from the BBC, thus they have been scrapped from our airwaves.
Even as we prepare to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, under the broader theme to do with the role of media in national reconciliation, the behavior by the BBC in Rwanda leaves us with much to ponder on.
Rwanda has every right to take exception when her history and efforts at moving on through reconciliation are insulted. Just like any other country reserves that right.
In Germany those who deny the Holocaust face judicial processes. Dutch politician Geert Wilder was banned in London and indicted in Holland for his radical anti-Islam views.