Hate Radio coming up in Burundi

During the ongoing election period in Burundi – Rwanda’s neighboring country with a similar ethnic composition and history of recurring violent conflict – hate speech on the airwaves seems to have flared up, giving rise to fears of a derailing of the promising democratic process in the country.
Follow the evolving story here:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/06/25/whats_the_frequency_nkurunziza?page=0,0&sms_ss=email

George Weiss, Director of La Benevolencija Humanitarian Tools Foundation, writes  in reaction to the above article:

Hi all, and thanks for the link. In relation to this article- the writer mentions that the coalition of 15 (in reality it is an initiative for all 18 broadcasters) broadcasters broadcasting against hate speech and for electoral information in Burundi is now slowly crumbling in the face of hate speech broadcast by Rema FM. According to our impressions, i cannot agree to this statement. On the opposite, more and more information is emerging in the case of Burundi that shows the population stying calm in the face of both incitement through Hate speech as well as the creation of seeming insecurity through terrorist acts. This would rather point to a success of the media coalition instead of its demise. the coalition broadcasts have focused on informing the population of the language and psychological methods used by politicians to incite them, precisely in order to teach them not to get “drawn into” these actions. If the population now stays calm, this would point to a unique success of the work of the combined media coalition! ( a success that would be especially noteworthy for this particular forum).

Furthermore, the article says accusations stating the vote to have been rigged are “not without cause”.- Of course such accusations are never “without cause”, but in this case the elections have been very well monitored both by international observers as well as more than10 000 civil society observers. Besides minor infractions, these observers have given the elections a clean bill of health. I attach another article pointing to exactly that.

I am just mentioning this at length because, as I said above, this may, with some luck, turn out to be one of the rare cases in which prevention campaigns actually score a success- and i think it worthwhile for this forum to note this very example.

I will write to FP to let them know this reaction as well.

Warmly to all

George