Friday, 13 February 2009

Alison des Forges

Alison des Forges was on the plane that crashed in Buffalo last night. An historian by training, Alison had spent her life working on human rights issues in central Africa, and especially Rwanda. She was a frequent expert witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and testified in many cases, including the Bagosora case (for which the judgment was issued a few days ago). Alison was awarded a Macarthur 'genius grant', and received many other honours. Her book, Leave None to Tell the Story, is the authoritative work on the Rwandan genocide.
I first worked with Alison when we were members of a human rights fact-finding mission to Rwanda in January 1993. The report of the Commission that we belonged to, and of which Alison was the unofficial leader, warned of genocide in Rwanda some fifteen months before it began. She also led a mission to Burundi in January 1994, in which I participated. Her death is a terrible loss to all of us. I want to express my deepest condolences to her husband and family.

1 comment:

Carlos Yescas said...

Terrible loss, thank you for sharing.