A RWANDAN journalist who encouraged Hutus to slaughter Tutsis during the 1994 genocide has been jailed for life, by the United Nation's Rwanda tribunal, writes Dennis Itumbi for journalism.co.za.

Valerie Bemeriki was among the prominent voices of Radio Mille Collines, a station which became notorious for its encouragement of the slaughter. During her trial, she admitted inciting violence.

"Do not kill those cockroaches with a bullet – cut them to pieces with a machete." she told her listeners in one broadcast attributed to her.

The station was launched in 1993, backed by relatives of Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana – whose death in a plane crash helped to trigger the genocide.

Two senior executives of Radio Milles Collines have previously been sentenced to long jail terms by the UN's Rwanda tribunal, based in Arusha, Tanzania.

About 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in 100 days in Rwanda.  A local court convicted Bemeriki of planning genocide, inciting Hutus, and complicity in several murders.