Kind World #18: Off The List

By Erika Lantz (WBUR)

SASHA CHANOFF: My boss called me into his office in Nairobi and handed me a list with 112 names on it. He said, “Sasha, I want you to go into the Congo and get these people out.”

This story takes place in February, 2000, in the Congo. Congo was at war. The extremists who were responsible for the Rwandan genocide had gathered their forces in the Congo. The Congolese president said that all Tutsis in the country were the enemy and need to be hunted down and killed. People were being killed in the streets in terrible ways.

I’d only been in Africa for about six months. My boss is David Derthick at the time, and he was spearheading this U.S. rescue operation.

David said to me, “Above all, you have to stick to this list. You cannot take anybody who’s not on this list. If you try to add more people, you won’t get anybody out.”

David also said that he was sending in his right-hand woman. Her name was Sheikha.

READ FULL STORY HERE.

 
 
     Sheikha Ali, an operations officer for the International Organization for Migration, on the flight out of the Congo.   (Courtesy)

 

Sheikha Ali, an operations officer for the International Organization for Migration, on the flight out of the Congo. (Courtesy)

  Mamy Najurama, second from left, one of the women saved in the Congo rescue mission, with her sisters at their nephew' David's wedding. David lost both his parents and his younger sister in the death camp where Najurama was imprisoned for 16 months. (Courtesy)

Mamy Najurama, second from left, one of the women saved in the Congo rescue mission, with her sisters at their nephew' David's wedding. David lost both his parents and his younger sister in the death camp where Najurama was imprisoned for 16 months. (Courtesy)

  Sasha Chanoff stands next to a hired armed guard in the safe compound outside Kinshasa. (Courtesy)

Sasha Chanoff stands next to a hired armed guard in the safe compound outside Kinshasa. (Courtesy)