Today, she would have turned 76 years old. Her name is Alison Des Forges. For many in the human rights world, Dr. Alison Des Forges needs no introduction. This eminent human rights advocate died in a tragic plane crash nearly 10 years ago. Des Forges may have passed on but her outstanding work remains to inspire us all and generations to come.
Leave none to tell the story, Ntihazasigare n’uwo kubara inkuru
Her award-winning account of genocide, Leave None to Tell the Story remains the primary source to understanding the political machinery behind the campaign to wipe out all the Tutsi from the face of Rwanda.
Resolve to name and prevent Genocide
While politicians were still playing with words, she became the first voice to call nations to stop the wave of genocide that she clearly saw coming ahead of time. When her call went unheeded, she challenged policymakers to call it by its rightful name–Genocide of Tutsi.
Fighting for justice
Des Forges testified as an expert witness in a dozen trials involving the masterminds of genocide.
Like all human rights advocates, Des Forges had her share of criticisms. In many cases though, I think it is fair to say that the weight of her work and dedication to human rights values, trumps by far any criticism against her so far. Well, I stand to be corrected!
In the comment section below, please write your views on Des Forges’ legacy.