Introduction
Through the eyes of field teams’ members
in Humanitarian aid, genocide and mass killings
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Never before had MSF teams been the direct witnesses of genocide and repeated mass violence on such a huge scale. The method of observation adopted for this book was, as matter of priority, to focus on the work of field teams and reconstruct their perceptions, decisions and actions. The following sources were used: numerous reports submitted to MSF head offices by MSF teams; witness statements published by the Rwandans; public documents from international organisations and research studies based on field surveys. The history of Rwanda is also told through a series of events which shed light on the political dynamics of the 1990s. Lastly, a summary of MSF’s activities in the Great Lakes region since 1980 is also included.

Three very specific questions about Rwanda and the Great Lakes region during the period 1990 to 1997 are formulated:

Where were MSF’s teams working?

What work were they involved in?

Which of the obstacles they encountered became the subject of debate, and which of these went on to be made public?

Humanitarian aid, genocide and mass killings

Médecins Sans Frontières, the Rwandan experience, 1982– 97

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