French radio RFI back on the air in Rwanda
Nicolas Sarkozy with top genocide suspect General Kagame and his officers (feb. 2010)
Kigali – From a four-year ban in Rwanda, French radio RFI is back on the FM frequency in French and Swahili in what officials said is part of the renewed relations between Kigali and Paris.
RFI has also returned on the airwaves with a new frequency 91.9 and can be heard in Kigali since Tuesday, but tests have been ongoing since September. Listeners in other provinces also indicated they are getting the RFI signal.
“It’s with immense pleasure that RFI can rediscover its Rwandan listeners with a new offering, enriched by two hours daily in Swahili along with programmes in French”, said Geneviève Goetzinger Executive Director of RFI. The return of RFI to the airwaves comes during a warming of relations between the two countries.
Goëtzinger said RFI has new and more attractive programming including two hours of Swahili broadcasts for listeners in this region.
RFI was switched off by government in November 2006 following the contested indictments from a French judge against 9 top officials over alleged links to the assassination of ex-president Juvenal Habyarimana. French diplomats were expelled, as were all French interests including a school and a cultural center.
All these have since reopened following a return to normalcy in relations between Kigali and Paris which started in November last year.
With RFI FM frequency back on air, it brings to four international broadcasters with a 24-hour relay into Rwanda, including BBC, DW and VOA. Both BBC and VOA have Kinyarwanda segments ranging between an hour and two hours daily.
There are also about 10 local FM stations, along with state Radio Rwanda.