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Rwandan students protest against genocide documentary

IANS 08 Nov 2014, 11:10:25 AM IST

Kigali: Thousands of students in Rwanda took to the streets to protest against a BBC documentary about the genocide in 1994.

The demonstration was held on Friday in the capital city of Kigali, Xinhua reported.

The one hour-long documentary, entitled "This World: Rwanda's Untold Story" aired on BBC2 Oct 1, suggested that many of the more than 800,000 Rwandans who died in the 1994 genocide may have been ethnic Hutus, and put the number of Tutsis victims at 200,000 only, much lower than the official account of one million.

The film sparked nationwide anger among the government officials, scholars as well as students. The Rwandan parliament last month adopted a resolution banning BBC broadcasts in Kinyarwanda, the official language of Rwanda.

Singing patriotic songs and carrying placards denouncing BBC, some 4,000 students from various universities in the country marched from the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre to the Nyanza Genocide Memorial Centre.

Many protesters also voiced their anger over the portrayal of the Rwandan leader as a villain in the documentary, which suggests the country's president might be involved in shooting down his predecessor's plane.

The BBC denied that any part of the programme constitutes a "denial of the genocide against the Tutsi" and said it "believes the program is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the tragic history of the country and the region, and of the governance of Rwanda over the last 20 years".