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publications

War and Humanitarianism

How can aid workers help war victims without falling prey to, or becoming complicit with, their persecutors?

Humanitarian organisations have an ambiguous relationship with the violence of war. Seeking to relieve its severity, they contribute to its continuation to varying degrees while subjecting themselves to becoming targets. This collection of studies explores the way aid workers attempt to “humanise” war and face the risk of becoming victims of or complicit in the war.

Types
Rwanda
Article

Debate: Judi Rever will not let anything stand in the way of her quest to document a second Rwandan genocide

Published in March 2018, Judi Rever’s investigative work, In Praise of Blood, quickly garnered international attention. It is an indictment of both the Rwandan patriotic front (RPF) and its leader, current Rwandan president Paul Kagame, and foreign governments and international institutions – the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), in particular – that allowed crimes committed against Hutu civilians to go unpunished.Judi Rever’s book is more than a work of investigation. It reads like a prosecutor’s closing argument: the massacres are described in such a way as to classify them as genocide. And it is precisely this combination of investigation and the pursuit of evidence that would stand up in a court of law that is problematic.

Mamadou M’Baiki health centre in Bangui, CAR
Article

Review "Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management"

Kevin MacMahon's review of "Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management" (Michaël Neuman and Fabrice Weissman, London: C. Hurst & Co, 2016) is published in the Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict (2016, pages 69-70).

A young girl walks in the streets of Bama
Article

War and humanitarian aid

Rony Brauman focuses on the humanitarian environment and practices in war, in order to try to understand and analyze its political and ethical stakes. Starting with the creation of the Red Cross at the end of the XIXth century, he then focused on the contemporary postcolonial period, switching between various scales and reporting on contradictory points of view and issues.

Une jeune fille somalienne regarde le coucher de soleil à bord du bateau Dignity
Speaking out case study

Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN “Military-Humanitarian” Intervention

The ‘Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN "Military-Humanitarian" Intervention‘ case study is describing the difficulties and dilemmas met by MSF during the first years that it was committed to helping the Somali people.

Une jeune fille somalienne regarde le coucher de soleil à bord du bateau Dignity
Speaking out case study

Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN “Military-Humanitarian” Intervention

The ‘Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN "Military-Humanitarian" Intervention‘ case study is describing the difficulties and dilemmas met by MSF during the first years that it was committed to helping the Somali people.

L'afflux des Syriens au camps de Domeez
Op-Ed

Syria: Breaking the De Facto Humanitarian Embargo against Rebel-Held Areas

While European Union members are debating the lifting of arms embargo on Syria, populations living in opposition held territories continue to be severed from desperately needed humanitarian aid. Yet, there is a controversy among aid agencies on the best ways to scale up relief activities in Syria.

MSF à Serif Umra au Darfour
Article

The International reaction to the Darfur Crisis: An Humanitarian Point of View

Fabrice Weissman looks at the major stages of the Darfur conflict since 2003 from the perspective of a humanitarian medical organisation. He questions the predominant reading of this crisis, and cautions against the illusions of international armed intervention in the region.