Médecins Sans Frontières, the Rwandan experience, 1982– 97

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 Drawing on various hitherto unpublished private and public archives, this book recounts the experiences of the MSF teams working in the field.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.

Jean-Hervé Bradol and Marc Le Pape

in 1990 and spread to Kigali, Ruhengeri and Byumba prefectures in 1991. In March 1992, massacres of Tutsis, fomented by extremist authorities, intensified to such an extent in Kigali-Rural prefecture (Bugesera) that several human rights organisations warned in a report published in March 1993 that the scale of the persecution of Tutsis raised the question of whether ‘genocide’ would be an appropriate

in Humanitarian aid, genocide and mass killings
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‘Numbers games’ and ‘holocausts’ at Jasenovac and Bleiburg
David Bruce MacDonald

2441Chapter6 16/10/02 8:05 am Page 160 6 Comparing genocides: ‘numbers games’ and ‘holocausts’ at Jasenovac and Bleiburg What will our children say about us when they read about the Balkan Holocaust in their history books? (Stjepan Meštrović et al., The Road from Paradise) Chapter 5 outlined some of the principal myths of victimisation and persecution stemming from the wartime activities of the Serbs and Croats. By invoking images of historic genocide and persecution, both sides portrayed their actions in the 1990s as defensive only – a reaction to

in Balkan holocausts?
William Schabas

169 Chapter 8 Genocide and the ICERD William Schabas Although there is no reference to genocide in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD/​the Convention), the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD/​the Committee) has shown a special interest in the subject. Ironically, CERD examined the periodic report of Rwanda in March 1994, only a few weeks before the outbreak of the worst episode of genocide since the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the

in Fifty years of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Jean-Hervé Bradol and Marc Le Pape

with the dignitaries responsible for the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, thereby legitimising their power in the camps and being seen as or becoming their – albeit unwilling – accomplices. Rwandan refugees in Tanzania, 1994–95 On April 1994, Rwandan refugees, the immense majority of them Hutus, began pouring into north-west Tanzania and, according to UNHCR, an estimated 250

in Humanitarian aid, genocide and mass killings
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Through the eyes of field teams’ members
Jean-Hervé Bradol and Marc Le Pape

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 Humanitarian aid, genocide and mass killings
Elyse Semerdjian

This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Ideology, physical destruction, and memory
Rémi Korman

9 The Tutsi body in the 1994 genocide: ideology, physical destruction, and memory Rémi Korman Since 1994, bodies have been at the centre of the memorialization of the Tutsi genocide. For, in addition to constituting evidence in the context of forensic investigations, they are publicly exhibited in memorials to the genocide. The display of bodies aims principally to remind visitors of the historical facts of the genocide: not only the sites of massacres, but also the form these took. Far from being an incidental detail, the methods employed by the killers are an

in Destruction and human remains
Jessica Auchter

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.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Yehonatan Alsheh

1 The biopolitics of corpses of mass violence and genocide Yehonatan Alsheh Introduction For the past four decades, students of biopolitics have been probing why the spectacular growth in the application of technologies and policies that aim at the optimization of human life has been articu­lated with a parallel proliferation of human death. Various studies have been suggesting many objects or sites that are arguably highly symptomatic of the issue at hand – a privileged epitome of the biopolitical quandary. The most famous of these is the camp that Giorgio

in Human remains and mass violence