Text of report in English by Rwandan news agency RNA
Kigali, 29 November: DRCongo government radio has been broadcasting hate messages branding Congolese Tutsis as Rwandan with the aim to have them “annihilated” and something must be done urgently or else the conflict there gets out of hand, a Jewish academic has said.
Dr. Rabbi David Kuperman says since 1998, Congolese National Radio and Television (RTNC) has been making broadcasts that identified Congolese Tutsis as Rwandan and called openly for other Congolese citizens to kill them.
“Now, once again, RTNC is broadcasting messages of hate toward Congolese Tutsis and preparing their neighbours to participate in the annihilation of the Tutsi population”, Kuperman says in a message to media and campaign groups. “Hate broadcasts are undeniably a powerful tool for indoctrinating and manipulating.’
The Jewish-American academic seems to suggest that the same hate broadcasts are strengthening the resolve of DRC dissident General Laurent Nkunda not to make peace with the Kinshasa government.
According to the prospective deal, General Nkunda must join government forces in a process commonly known as “brassage”. But he has remained adamant to go by the plan because there have been no guarantees that his cause would be addressed - that of protecting the Banyamulenge.
“General Nkunda knows, from bitter and verifiable experience, that once his troops have been dispersed throughout the country they are likely to be killed and the Tutsi population of North Kivu will be left defenceless against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda / Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR)”, says Kuperman.
The UN mission in Congo (MONUC) along with government forces have declared that “all avenues’ to bring General Nkunda to the peace-table have been ‘exhausted” - so he “would have to be put down by force”. Dr Kuperman says the attacks by the combined forces continue to kill and displace combatants and non-combatants throughout the region.
Contrary to media ethics, Kuperman says RTNC - a public network that includes several regional stations and that is controlled by a Ministry of Information and Press not known for encouraging journalistic freedom, has joined the battle.
“The current hate broadcasting by the DRC government’s RTNC is reminiscent of that which incited genocide in Rwanda in 1994, and is just as dangerous”, he says.
The academic wants the media and campaign groups to “investigate RTNC, in particular those stations whose programming is heard in North Kivu, and publish the results of your investigation”.
“Bring RTNC’s hate broadcasting to the attention of whichever governments, organizations, or courts of public opinion might be most concerned and able to bring such broadcasting to a conclusive halt”, he says.
(Source: RNA news agency, Kigali, in English 29 Nov 07 via BBC Monitoring)