On March 8, 2020, the FIFDH Geneva organised a debate between Rony Brauman, Annyssa Bellal - Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law - and Amani Ballour, a paediatrician who spent five years in an underground hospital in Syria and the protagonist of the film The Cave, to answer the question "Does international humanitarian law legitimise wars ?"
The publication of the journalist Judi Rever’s book, In Praise of Blood, on the crimes committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s armed rebellion has rekindled discussion over the existence of a “double genocide”, one committed against the Tutsis under the orders of Rwanda’s interim government which took power in April 1994 following the assassination of President Habyarimana, and the other against the Hutus by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) which seized power in July 1994. There is little or no controversy about the reality of the genocide of the Tutsis in the world of Rwandan studies, but the claim that the Hutus were in turn victims of genocide sparks reactions as violent as they are confused. The cause of this confusion can be found in the different definitions of a term used in at least three fields: history, law and politics.
How much is known about the daily experiences of humanitarian workers in extreme situations such as major conflict or disaster? In their new book, “Humanitarian Aid, Genocide and Mass Killings: Médecins sans frontières, the Rwandan experience, 1982-97”, Marc Le Pape and Jean-Hervé Bradol set out to answer some of these questions. The book is also informed by Bradol’s experience of working for Médecins Sans Frontières in Rwanda during the genocide.
In August 2017 in Rwanda, the presidential election resulted, unsurprisingly, in a “landslide victory” for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate, Paul Kagame, who secured 98.79% of the votes cast. No one in Rwanda however, delighted or disappointed with the result, supporter or opponent of Kagame, has forgotten the mass crimes that were committed during the conflict that spanned the 1990s, and particularly the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994. Several texts by members and associates of MSF-Crash published between 1994 and 2017 are gathered in this dossier.
Interview with Jean-Hervé Bradol and Marc Le Pape. The book is published by Manchester University Press and will be out in January 2017.
Throughout the 1990s, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was forced to face the challenges posed by the genocide of Rwandan Tutsis and a succession of major outbreaks of political violence in Rwanda and its neighbouring countries.
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.
On 4th August 2006, 17 Sri Lankans working for Action Contre la Faim were executed inside their own compound, the same day Sri Lankan government forces reclaimed control of the town of Muttur.
This essay points out the fragility of the arguments most often used by humanitarian organizations to justify their support for an international criminal court. Questioning NGOs' infatuation with punitive justice, Fabrice Weissman argues that humanitarian organizations should advocate for politics of aid and mediation rather than for a global moral order based on judicial punishment and just war.