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Rony Brauman

Rony Brauman
MSF-Crash

Medical doctor, specialized in tropical medicine and epidemiology. Involved in humanitarian action since 1977, he has been on numerous missions, mainly in contexts of armed conflicts and IDP situations. President of Médecins sans Frontières from 1982 to1994, he also teaches at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) and is a regular contributor to Alternatives Economiques. He has published several books and articles, including "Guerre humanitaires ? Mensonges et Intox" (Textuel, 2018), "La Médecine Humanitaire" (PUF, 2010), "Penser dans l'urgence" (Editions du Seuil, 2006) and "Utopies Sanitaires" (Editions Le Pommier, 2000).

Types
MSF in Al Dhale and Taiz, Yemen. July 2015
Article

Oases of Humanity and the Realities of War

The rehabilitation of international humanitarian law (IHL) has become a priority for those who think that the horrors of contemporary wars are largely due to the blurring of the distinction between civilians and combatants and for those who think that campaigning for the respect of IHL could result in more civilised wars. Similarly, respect for humanitarian principles is still seen by many as the best tool available to protect the safety of aid workers. In this text, I argue that both assumptions are misled. The distinction between civilians and combatants, a cornerstone of IHL, has been blurred in practice since the late nineteenth century. In addition, humanitarian agencies claiming to be ‘principled’ have been victims of attacks as much as others. History and current practice tell us that neither IHL nor humanitarian principles provide safety or can guide our decisions. Accepting their symbolic value, rather than their unrealised potential to protect and solve operational dilemmas, would free humanitarian agencies from endless speculations.

Bourbon Argos: Search and Rescue Operations October 2016
Op-Ed

Humanitarian reasons versus political interests

Humanitarian organisations coming to the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea are kindly required either to watch them drown or to hand them over to human traffickers and torturers. We have seen countless political statements, opinion polls and editorials on the need to take a harder line against African migrants and accusing NGOs of being the accomplices of “smugglers”. We have even heard it said that these NGOs are organising the departures of those aspiring to migrate to Europe coincide with the presence of a rescue ship, making relief workers conscious actors in a criminal enterprise.

Rony Brauman
Blog post

Rony Brauman: « French military interventions create “safe billets” in Africa »

Rony Brauman takes a critical look at "humanitarian wars" and argues for political solutions that could include Islamists. He recently published "Humanitarian Wars? Lies and intox "(Textuel, 2018). This interview was published on July 03, 2018 in l'Opinion.

R. A. Hogarth, Medicalizing Blackness ; D. C. Owens, Medical Bondage ; D. R. Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh
Blog post

Race and health. A fascinating article on the history of medicine

An article entitled "Médecines du corps noir" [Medicine and the black body], published on the La vie des idées website on 27 April, discusses three American history books on the origins of medicine in the United States in the context of slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries. Between experimentation and resistance, the history of relationships between race and health illustrates the decisive role played by African slaves.    

Vue de l'intérieur de l'hôpital MSF à Kunduz, après son bombardement, octobre 2015
Blog post

Humanitarian Wars ? - Interview with Rony Brauman

Rony Brauman has just published “Guerres humanitaires ? Mensonges et intox”. This book, a collection of interviews co-authored with Régis Meyran, explores a number of recent armed interventions that have all shared the goal of saving lives. Reviewing conflicts in Somalia, Libya, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, Brauman discusses the reasons advanced for justifying these wars and the accompanying lies.

Vue de Tacloban, après le passage du typhon Haiyan aux Philippines en 2013
Media Relay

Rony Brauman: ''This is the first time that disaster-related indirect mortality is sparking debate"

Former president of the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières and current director of studies at the MSF Foundation’s Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires (CRASH), Dr Rony Brauman, explains the difficulties involved in obtaining reliable figures on the human costs of natural disasters.

Deux femmes transportent des branches d'arbre, camp de Dagahaley, Kenya, 2009
Dossier

Famine: political implications and operational responses

The articles and essays in this publication discuss the specific context in which famines arise and the responses mobilised to address them. MSF has been involved in a number of famine responses (Uganda 1980, Ethiopia 1984-1985, Somalia 1991-1993) and has contributed to many chronic and acute malnutrition operations (Niger, Sudan and Ethiopia in particular in the 2000s). As theses famines were systematically related to armed conflict, the political implications are particularly significant and consequently, feature as a common theme in most of the analyses.