UB symposium recalls genocide in Rwanda

Apr 24, 2014

An impressive gathering of local and world-renowned speakers have made their way to the University at Buffalo's North Campus today for an international symposium, "The Rwandan Genocide: Twenty Years Later." The event was organized by the Alison Des Forges Memorial Committee.

The late Alison Des Forges was considered an expert on the genocide in Rwanda.

Committee Chair Helene Kramer called the genocide in Rwanda "an extraordinarily under-reported, and quite frankly, under-cared about event." An estimated 800,000 people were killed during the 100-day genocide.

"Much of the world, as it was unfolding, refused to call it a genocide. I'm talking about the United States among others. If it were labeled 'genocide' then they would have had to do something about it, according to the Geneva Conventions," Kramer said.

Free and open to the public, the symposium event runs until 5 this afternoon at 120 Clemens Hall on UB's North Campus. Later, a dinner will be held as a fundraiser for the Alison Des Forges Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will benefit a Buffalo Public School student who wants to study human rights at UB.

"Internationally, Alison was known as an expert on Rwanda and has been noted as the greatest advocate for human rights in our time," Kramer said.