Carina Tertsakian, is a senior researcher for the Africa division of Human Rights Watch.
noted that the Rwandan genocide was one of the most horrific episodes in recent history -- not only on the African continent, but worldwide.
"You would think that this should send the influence, international responses, to other conflicts in Africa," she
"At the time, a lot of people were saying never again.
We can't let this happen again, yet we have seen in a number of other countries very serious conflicts in which large numbers of civilians have been killed."
named the Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur, Sudan as examples of present day crisis situations.
The Human Rights Watch
researcher said it'll take a while before international policies are put in place to prevent large scale atrocities of this kind.
explained there is no blanket formula that would apply in all cases.
"But one of the important lessons that we can draw from the Rwandan genocide is that we should heed warnings.
In the case of Rwanda, in the months leading up to the genocide in 1994, there were very clear signs that the people in power at that time were mounting a campaign of ethnic persecution of people from the Tutsi ethnic group.
There were very virulent anti-Tutsi messages going out in the media.
There were all kinds of preparations that were underway, and the warning bell was struck by several people, several organizations including our late colleague, Alison Des Forges, who tried desperately to alert not only the US government but other member states of the UN, but despite this nothing was done until it was far too late," said Tertsakian.
said 19 years is a short period of time to even think about recovering from such horrors.