36 Journalists received practical training on the fight against genocide ideology

Interview with Nyirahabimana Verena from Mushasha Village Karujumba cell of Kiyombe Sector in Nyagatare District

Media practitioners from different media houses in Rwanda pledged to fight against genocide ideology, negativism and prevent genocide through programs and news reporting. This pledge was made during a 6 day training sessions of 36 journalists from various media organs with the aim of promoting unity and reconciliation by engaging media in the fight against genocide ideology. The         training was organized and launched by Rwanda Media High Council in collaboration with National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) and National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG) from April 16 to April 21st, 2018.

Today, our lives will remain incomplete without media. At the same time, media enhance our knowledge by providing access to information all over the world and contribute to the development of a country.  Media influence can be positive or negative owing to the message that audience consume. In 1994 in Rwanda, hate media incited people to kill innocent Tutsis. The Executive Secretary of Rwanda Media High Council Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo urged journalists not to fall in the same trap but rather play an important role in promoting unity and reconciliation by fighting against genocide ideology.

“Media had been a weapon that bad leadership used to put into practice Genocide against Tutsi in 1994. Media should play role in rebuilding a country without Genocide. It is our responsibility as journalists. This training session aims at increasing knowledge to prepare programs and report news that promote unity and reconciliation and fight against Genocide Ideology” Peacemaker said.

The Executive Secretary of National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) Fidèle Ndayisaba reminded journalists that they have a debt for Rwandans. 

 “Everybody should do his or her best to change what hate media did. We have debts for Rwandans because media was used to destroy Rwandan society.”

In his remarks, the Principal Legal Advisor of CNLG Dr BIDERI Diogène commended MHC for achievements in fighting against genocide ideology together with its partners.

“I am grateful to Media High Council and its stakeholders but mostly media for playing a big role in commemoration activities. This is seen in programs that you prepare during commemoration days that promote unity and reconciliation and fight against genocide ideology.”He said. “This history of Rwandans where RPF Inkotanyi rescued people who were being murdered will not be written by others but you” Bideri reminded Journalists.

Malachie Hakizimana, a journalist from Kigali Today Radio expressed his gratitude to MHC for the practical training sessions and said that the training is helpful to a journalist.

“Sometimes it is difficult for a journalist to reach the countryside where the story took place. But with this practical training we are able to reach a remote area and learn from each other. I learnt a lot about unity and reconciliation and this will enable us to always fight against Genocide Ideology through news reporting and programs that we present.” Malachie Said.

Under Rwandan laws, Genocide ideology is a crime that is defined as an aggregate of thoughts manifested by conduct, speeches, documents and other acts aiming at exterminating or inciting others to exterminate people based on their ethnic group, origin, nationality, region, color, physical appearance, sex, language, religion or political opinion, etc.