All MSF staff working in Rwanda when President Habyarimana was assassinated on 6 April 1994 had left the country by 24 April 1994. Before deciding to pull out, some teams tried to provide medical care to the wounded. The Butare team, the last to go, left via Burundi after the killing of their patients and some Rwandan staff members. Burundian refugee camps, camps for Rwandan displaced
Representations of Rwanda have been shaped by the display of bodies and bones at Tutsi genocide memorial sites. This phenomenon is most often only studied from the perspective of moral dimensions. This article aims in contrast to cover the issues related to the treatment of human remains in Rwanda for commemorative purposes from a historical perspective. To this end, it is based on the archives of the commissions in charge of genocide memory in Rwanda, as well as interviews with key memorial actors. This study shows the evolution of memorial practices since 1994 and the hypermateriality of bodies in their use as symbols, as well as their demobilisation for the purposes of reconciliation policies.
This article describes the brutalisation of the bodies of Tutsi and Jewish victims in 1994 and during the Second World War, respectively, and contrasts the procedures adopted by killers to understand what these deadly practices say about the imaginaries at work in Rwanda and Poland. Dealing with the infernalisation of the body, which eventually becomes a form of physical control, this comparative work examines the development of groups and communities of killers in their particular social and historical context. Different sources are used, such as academic works, reports from victims organisations and non-governmental organisations, books, testimonies and film documentaries.
When hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees began flooding into Tanzania and Zaire in the spring and summer of 1994, MSF’s management and field teams had two reasons to be concerned. Mortality rates in the vast camps set up in Tanzania and then Zaire were indeed catastrophically high at first. Before April 1994, it had taken several months for humanitarian organisations
In October 1982, MSF set up operations for the first time in Rwanda after Ugandan President Milton Obote expelled 40,000 Kinyarwanda speakers (Hutus and Tutsis) deemed hostile to the government. 1 Rwanda called them ‘Kinyarwanda-speaking Ugandans’ and opposed their entry into its territory. 2 At the request of the UNHCR, MSF began providing in cooperation with the
The after-effects of mass atrocity – bodies and bones – struggle to be defined within memorial projects. This article seeks to examine the politics at play in displaying dead bodies to interrogate the role of materiality in efforts to memorialise and raise awareness about on-going violences. It focusses on the nexus between evidence, dignity, humanity and memory to explore bone display in Rwanda. It then takes up two artistic projects that play on the materiality of human remains after atrocity: the art of Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who took ashes from an urn at the Majdanek concentration camp and used them as the material for his painting, and the One Million Bones Project, an installation that exhibits ceramic bones to raise awareness about global violence. In thinking about the intersections between human biomatter, art and politics, the article seeks to raise questions about both production and consumption: how bones and ashes of the dead are produced, and how they are consumed by viewers when placed on display in a variety of ways.
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. Humanitarian workers were confronted with the execution of close to one million people, tens of thousands of casualties pouring into health centres, the flight of millions of others who had sought refuge in camps and a series of deadly epidemics. Where and in what circumstances were the MSF teams deployed? What medical and non-medical assistance were they able to deliver? Drawing on various hitherto unpublished private and public archives, this book recounts the experiences of the MSF teams working in the field. It also describes the tensions (and cooperation) between international humanitarian agencies, the crucial negotiations conducted at local, national and international level and the media campaigns. The messages communicated to the public by MSF’s teams bear witness to diverse practical, ethical and political considerations. How to react when humanitarian workers are first-hand witnesses to mass crimes? How to avoid becoming accomplices to criminal stratagems? How to deliver effective aid in situations of extreme violence?
This book is intended for humanitarian aid practitioners, students, journalists and researchers with an interest in genocide and humanitarian studies and the political sociology of international organisations.
In 1994 and during the years that followed, humanitarian workers found themselves first-hand witnesses to genocide and mass killings, not only in Rwanda but also in those countries with which it shares a border. Unprecedented in the history of humanitarian action since decolonisation, the experiences of these aid workers remain just as much of an exception now as they were in the
In 1995, the leaders of the Tutsi genocide had free reign in Zaire and set about marshalling their partisans in the refugee camps. Embarking on a combat strategy, they launched increasingly frequent and murderous incursions into Rwanda where they targeted civilians. In October and November 1996, the RPA, with the help of Zairian rebels, destroyed all the camps set up in North
-Saharan Africa: the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict in Northern Uganda between 1987 and 2006. Investigating these will help understand some of the challenges faced by African societies during and after conflicts and in particular the difficulties experienced by CBOW in the processes of postconflict reconstruction. What will become clear is that although the conflicts under consideration have very distinct characteristics, and although both also differed profoundly from the armed conflicts and occupations discussed 187 188 CBOW in the