Rwandan refugee camps in Tanzania and Zaire, 1994–95
in Humanitarian aid, genocide and mass killings
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The second chapter focuses on the Rwandans who began fleeing their country in April 1994 and ended up in vast camps, notably in Tanzania and Zaire. Humanitarian organisations and UNHCR were quick to step into action. MSF’s assistance mainly focussed on the frequent health emergencies, especially when the camps first opened. Events required taking decisions of a political nature as the refugees included those who had led and carried out the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. The archives show that MSF field teams and head offices soon came to realise that these leaders continued to exert their influence over those who had sought refuge in the camps. Aid workers in the field found themselves forced to choose between pulling out from the camps and delivering medical aid; they either had to abandon their relief to avoid supporting those responsible for the genocide, or carry on providing assistance to civilians who could in no way bear the burden of collective guilt.

Humanitarian aid, genocide and mass killings

Médecins Sans Frontières, the Rwandan experience, 1982– 97


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