Tag Archives: South Sudan

Broadcasting Hate: The Radio in Africa

This article was just published in The Africa Report. It explains that a recent series of mass killings in South Sudan have been attributed to messages of hate and revenge spread over the radio. Analysts say these radio-inspired ethnic killings may lead to retalitory attacks and incessant bloodshed.


Not for the first time in Africa, reports like this highlight the power of the radio as a vehicle for hate and violence. When I was an undergraduate I wrote a philosophy term paper that explored the power of hate speech in fueling anti-Tutsi sentiment during the Rwandan Genocide. Various groups in Rwanda used the radio as a vehicle for spreading violence and discord, calling the Tutsis “cockroaches” and calling on the Hutu to “mow the grass”, or kill the Tutsi.

Two main radio stations were responsible for spreading hate speech: Radio Rwanda and Radio Television Libre des Mille Colline (RTML). Here you can read transcripts from radio broadcasts in English from November 24, 1993 and December 12, 1993.