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Rwanda Suspends BBC Broadcasts Over Documentary

Rwanda president Paul Kagame addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 24, 2014.

Rwanda has suspended the broadcast of local-language BBC programs in response to a documentary on the 1994 genocide that some Rwandans found offensive.

The government agency in charge of media technology said Friday it was taking BBC programs in the Kinyarwanda language off the air with immediate effect.

It said it had received complaints of incitement, genocide denial and genocide revisionism after the October 1 broadcast of the documentary, entitled Rwanda -- The Untold Story.

The BBC is defending the film, saying it examines evidence that challenges the accepted narrative of what happened before and after the genocide -- in particular, the role of President Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front.

It also says the film contains repeated references to the mass killings of Tutsis by Hutus in 1994, and it includes interviews with a Tutsi survivor and a Hutu man who spoke of his role in the genocide.

The Rwandan Patriotic Front stopped the genocide by ousting the country's Hutu-led government, but not until after ethnic Hutu extremists had killed some 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

This week, Rwandan women's groups and youth groups held separate marches on the BBC office in Kigali to protest the documentary.