“Nothing happens that we did not predict”: Rwandan media is still suffering fallout of 1994 genocide – Irish Times

Tutsi refugees in Kabgayi in May 1994: RTLM radio told listeners not to take pity on women and children. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

Tutsi refugees in Kabgayi in May 1994: RTLM radio told listeners not to take pity on women and children. Photograph: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

The media put a stop to that. One of the most notorious hate-radio stations in history, Radio Television Libres des Milles Collines (RTLM), began broadcasting on July 8th, 1993, nine months before the genocide. Its reach was almost ubiquitous. Its presenters – who included Italian-born Belgian citizen Georges Ruggiu – preached violence, told listeners to “get to work”, and reminded them not to take pity on women and children.

In a country with a high illiteracy rate, radio was hugely influential, and many accepted anything said on it as fact.

Less accessible, but still incredibly influential, was the newspaper Kangura. In early 1994 it carried the headline “Habyarimana will die in March”, over an article explaining that Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana would soon be killed. The article opened with the words: “Nothing happens that we did not predict.”

Read the rest at IrishTimes.com

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