Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Alison des Forges

It would be going a step too far to contend that Alison des Forges death, when Continental Airlines Flight 3407 crashed on route to Buffalo, New York, was more than an accident. The cramped commuter plane crashed on February 12th in icy weather near Buffalo. Fifty people were killed.(1) Nevertheless, Alison had many enemies who wanted her out of the way.
One of those enemies was the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, whose RPF murdered some 30,000 people in the immediate aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. It is a number that doesn't compare with 800,000 genocide victims, the government in Kigali is quick to point out; a genocide that is meticulously documented in Alison's award-winning account, "Leave None to Tell the Story". Nevertheless, 30,000 is hardly an insignificant number and it cannot be ignored, because, as Allison contended, "if it is ignored any "justice handed down in Rwanda will "look like selective victor's justice."(2) Paul Kagame's government twice denied Alison entrance to Rwanda; an admission of how much Kagame has to hide, perhaps?
One explanation of why the mass murder after the genocide was allowed to happen is that officials in the Clinton administration were "traumatized by the genocide and shamed by their failure to stop it and that they gave the new Tutsi government a pass on its abuses against Hutu civilians."(3) This, however, really paints a false picture. French and American complicity and incompetence were certainly responsible for the genocide in Rwanda in the first place. However, with Paul Kagame "Uncle Sam" had its man in Africa and American hypocrisy and greed would quite easily allow the good old US of A to turn a blind eye to his "friend's" indiscretions. After all with the gold, diamonds, columbium-tantalite (coltan), platinum, natural gas and oil that the region offers(4) "we" don't want to upset our friends, do we? Allison, however, was not prepared to look away. With the crash on the 12th of February Kagame and his paymaster in Washington had managed to rid themselves of an unrelenting critic.
1 http://www.economist.com/obituary/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13137097
2 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kenneth-roth/a-heroine-for-human-right_b_167072.html
3 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/17/AR2009021702718.html
4 http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/04/the-rwanda-genocide-fabrications/
The picture shows Alison des Forges

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