Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rwandan minister threatens to close BBC and VOA FM relays in Kigali

The Rwandan Minister of Information has accused the BBC and Voice of America of “destroying the unity of the Rwandans” through their programmes in the national languages that are available on FM in the capital Kigali. Louise Mushikiwabo made the accusation during a broadcast on Monday by government-owned Radio Rwanda.
The Minister said the cause of the problem lies with the Rwandan journalists working for the two stations, emphasizing that their programmes in other languages “do not cause any problem”.
“We’re looking for a solution to the problem”, she continued, adding that the relevant authorities in Rwanda had informed the persons in charge of the two broadcasters of their concerns. She said that senior members of the Rwandan government have suspended the granting of interviews to the two stations “while hoping that they will correct themselves”.
She warned that the Rwandan government has “the capacity and the right” to suspend the broadcasting of these transmissions on its territory if the position does not change. ”The Rwandan authorities don’t want a press that acclaims them, but we ask that the press reports the facts faithfully; what we don’t want is lies and exaggeration”, she said.
(Source: Le Monde/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)