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General and champion of human rights Roméo Dallaire appointed Cleveringa professor

Canadian Roméo Dallaire (1946) was UN Commander in Rwanda at the time of the genocide there, subsequently becoming a champion of human rights. He has worked as a researcher at several different universities, and was a senator in Canada for nine years. Dallaire will give this year's Cleveringa lecture on 26 November.

The theme of the Cleveringa lecture this year is health - both physical and mental health - in humanitarian interventions; Dallaire will base his lecture on his personal experiences in Rwanda. In the current corona era, he will give his lecture via a livestream from Canada.


Roméo Antonius Dallaire was commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) in 1993 and 1994. A bloody civil war had broken out in the country, which led to the murder of some 800,000 tutsi and moderate Hutus. As a consequence of the atrocities he witnessed, Dallaire suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS), which was to have a long-lasting effect on him. After receiving some ten military honours, he left his position as a general in the army (he is now a retired general) and became a champion of human rights: his mission is to eradicate the use of child soldiers. In 2006, Dallaire was a witness in the Rwanda tribunal in Tanzania. In 2005, he bcame a member of the Canadian senate, a position he would hold for nine years. He has also held different managerial and advisory positions, both military and civil. 

Dallaire returns to Africa


Dallaire has been a researcher for human rights institutes at Harvard University in the US and Concordia University in Canada, and has been a guest lecturer at other universities in both countries. Together with co-authors, he has written three boooks: one about the inhumanity of the war in Rwanda, one about child soldiers and one about his battle against PTSS. He has also conducted research on conflict resolution and human rights, and has published works on these issues. 

Connection with the Netherlands

Roméo Dallaire was born in 1946 in Denekamp, the son of Canadian officer Roméo Louis Dallaire and Dutch nurse Catharine Vermaessen. The couple left for Canada when their son was eighteen months old.

The livestream for following the Cleveringa lecture on 26 November will be added to the calendar item. Registration is not needed. 

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