Elisa Massimino Statement on 20th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide
Washington, D.C. – Today, as the world marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide that claimed more than 1 million lives in three months, Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino issued the following statement:
“Today marks two decades since the beginning of the Rwandan genocide and the failure of governments to stop it. The world knows more today—thanks in part to Ambassador Power’s groundbreaking book A Problem from Hell—than it did in 1994 about effective prevention, early warning signs, and the importance of swift intervention, and there is an expanding body of law—through the International Criminal Court and elsewhere—to hold perpetrators accountable. We also know that genocide and mass atrocities are organized crimes; such brutality and violence cannot succeed without a network of enablers that supply perpetrators with the money, weapons, supplies, and political and other support they need to slaughter civilians. To prevent and disrupt mass atrocities, governments should work together to identify the supply chains that support these horrific crimes—including in Congo and Syria—and disrupt them with every available resource.
“Today, we stand with the survivors of the genocide in urging that world leaders use the lessons of the past to build a future in which genocide and other mass atrocities are not possible. We urge the United States government to ensure that the Atrocities Prevention Board established by President Obama effectively mobilizes a whole-of-government to deliver on the promise of ‘never again.’”