Kwibuka25: The Media Fraternity pays tribute to fellow journalists killed in 1994 Genocide against Tutsis

The Rwandan Media Fraternity paid tribute to 60 fellow colleagues who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. They used this opportunity to reflect on the lesson learnt and how they could contribute to the journey of rebuilding the nation.

The event held on Tuesday evening was organized by the Media High Council in collaboration with the media fraternity and the National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG).

It was kicked off with a walk to remember from the Car Free Zone, a symbolic place because it’s where RTLM that was known as Hate Radio was based, to Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, where a panel of experts composed by Cleophas Barore, Phil Quin, Jeanine Munyeshuli-Barbé and Jean-Francois Dupaquier had enriching discussions on Media Responsibility in the age of Fake News, Hate Speech & Denial.

Cleophas Barore who serves as the Chairman of the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), said that the details about the Genocide preparation could probably have been a secret for foreign media, but not for the local media.
“The hate campaign was openly conducted and the local media widely and willingly participated.” He said

Phil Quin said that after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, instead of reporting historical context the western media came up with a biased reporting ignoring the facts that weapons were purchased and lists of victims to be killed had been made way before.

In his remarks, The Minister of Local Government, Prof.Shyaka Anastase, said that the journalists were killed not only because they were Tutsi, but also activists of professional journalism that served the people.

“Even in the tough moments, they gave the country what they had. They stood for the truth and fought evil.” He noted
He added that during the time the media lost the logic of checks and balance, leading to a marriage between creators of policies and formers of opinion, which if it had not been, the Genocide could not have unraveled to the extent it did.

On the other hand, Minister Shyaka appreciated the step made by today’s media because it has proven wrong people who criticized Rwanda’s decision in 2011 to have a self-regulating media.
“Today we can firmly say that we were not wrong. Media self-regulation is possible in Rwanda. Let us continue to build a professional media sector that serves the people's interests.” He concluded.

In line with the events of the Reflection Day on Media and Genocide, at 6:30 pm all 34 local radios broadcasted the same message as an act of solidarity. ‘Never Again’ will any hate messages be conveyed to divide Rwanda.

Since its establishment in 2002, the Media High Council has been tirelessly working to fight the Genocide Ideologies, by putting in place Media regulations procedures, publishing a research on Appropriate Language to be used while reporting on the Genocide against Tutsis, research on the life and professional background of the Journalists victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.

Prepared by: Mukaneza Marie Ange
PR&C Officer