Propaganda in Rwanda Genocide

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Media Propaganda

The cover of the December 1993 issue of Kangura. The title states, "Tutsi: Race of God", while the text to the right of the machete states, "Which weapons are we going to use to beat the cockroaches for good?". The man pictured is the second president of the First Republic, Grégoire Kayibanda, who made Hutu the governing ethnicity after the 1959 massacres. According to recent commentators the news media played a crucial role in the genocide: local print and radio media fuelled the killings, while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued events on the ground.[6] The print media in Rwanda is believed to have started hate speech against Tutsis which was later continued by radio stations. According to commentators anti-Tutsi hate speech “became so systemic as to seem the norm.” The state-owned newspaper Kangura had a central role, starting an anti-Tutsi and anti-RPF campaign in October 1990. In the ongoing International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the individuals behind Kangura have been accused of producing leaflets in 1992 picturing a machete and asking “What shall we do to complete the social revolution of 1959?” - a reference to the politically orchestrated communal violence in 1959 that resulted in thousands of mostly Tutsi casualties and forced roughly 300,000 Tutsis to flee to neighboring Burundi and Uganda. Kangura also published the infamous “10 Hutu Commandments,” which called upon Hutus to massacre Tutsis, and more generally communicated the message that the RPF had a devious grand strategy (one feature article was titled “Tutsi colonization plan”).[7] Due to high rates of illiteracy at the time of the genocide radio was an important way for the government to deliver messages to the public. Two key radio stations in inciting violence before and during the genocide were Radio Rwanda and Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines(RTLM). In March 1992, Radio Rwanda was first used in directly promoting the killing...
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