Press Statement
Gordon Duguid
Acting Deputy Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 17, 2009

The Department of State wishes to express its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Alison Des Forges. Her untimely death last week in the tragic plane crash in Buffalo will be felt widely throughout the international human rights community and by all those who have been touched by her work. She established a tremendous reputation as a human rights expert, historian, and as an intrepid and committed defender and promoter of human rights.

Dr. Des Forges’ years of dedicated work documenting the Rwandan genocide created a definitive account of the genocide – echoed in her testimony before several international and national genocide trials – furthered the cause of justice, and established a high standard for others to follow in the future. Her groundbreaking work is one of the reasons policymakers, academics, and students are able to draw on and learn from one of the 20th century’s most important case studies and tragic events. She will be sorely missed.

PRN: 132