The Rwandan government has removed BBC local language (Kinyarwanda) programmes from the airwaves, writes James Karuhanga in the New Times.

This was confirmed by Information Minister Louise Mushikiwabo by phone late Saturday because, as she put it, the BBC programmes despite repeated written and verbal protests from Government, consistently showed total disregard for Rwanda's unity and reconciliation efforts.

"This action by Government was prompted by one of their programme called Imvo n'Imvano this morning which was previewed last night," Mushikiwabo said.

Alarmed by what she had heard in the preview, the Minister stressed that she immediately contacted BBC on the issue expecting them to reconsider "after hearing from us" but, the latter took no heed.

"In the programme, you have some of the most outrageous statements," Mushikiwabo noted, pointing to what she said were suggestions that there was a double Genocide and, that the bodies of Rwandans found floating in the waters of Lake Victoria, in Uganda, "were victims of the Rwanda Patriotic Front."

"We are lodging a very strong and serious protest to the BBC leadership. What we heard (on the programme) was Genocide denial and insensitive. This is extremely serious and, we cannot tolerate it as government."

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