"We are not sure that words can always save lives, but we know that silence can certainly kill."Dr James Orbinski, former International President of MSF, excerpt from Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech 1999.
MSF raises awareness and bears witness on the fate of the populations it helps and brings abuses and intolerable situations to public attention. These series of case studies explores the actions and decision - making processes that led the organisation to speak out during humanitarian emergencies.
MSF and North Korea 1995-1998
The ‘MSF in North Korea 1995-1998’ case study is describing the constraints and dilemmas that lead MSF to speak out publicly while its teams were trying to bring assistance to the North Korean population on its territory between 1995 and 1998 and to the North Korean refugees in Asia in the following years.
Genocide of Rwandan Tutsis 1994
The 'Genocide of Rwandan Tutsis 1994' case study is describing the difficulties and dilemmas met by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) during the genocide of Rwandan Tutsis in April, May and June 1994. The killings occurred in spite of the presence of UN troops in Rwanda, with the UN Security Council slow to acknowledge the ‘genocide’ hence evading the obligation to intervene.
War crimes and politics of terror in Chechnya 1994-2004
The ‘War crimes and politics of terror in Chechnya 1994-2004’ case study describes the constraints, questions and dilemmas experienced by MSF while speaking out during the two Russian-Chechen wars and the following years of ‘normalization’.
Violence against Kosovar Albanians, NATO's intervention 1998-1999
The ‘Violence against Kosovar Albanians NATO’s intervention 1998-1999’ case study describes the constraints and dilemmas facing Médecins Sans Frontières teams that witnessed a process of terror and expulsion which they described as the ‘deportation’ of Kosovar Albanians by Serb forces.
The violence of the new Rwandan regime 1994-1995
The ‘Violence of the new Rwandan regime’ case study is describing the difficulties and dilemmas that Médecins Sans Frontières faced in 1994 and 1995 when confronted with the abuses and crimes of the new regime that had taken over in Rwanda in July 1994.
Famine and forced relocations in Ethiopia 1984-1986
The 'Famine and Forced Relocations in Ethiopia 1984-1986' case study is describing the difficulties and dilemmas met by MSF during the famine that decimated the Ethiopian population in 1984-1985. The Ethiopian regime at the time also used international aid as bait to attract the populations and forcibly resettle them in appalling conditions.
MSF and Srebrenica 1993-2003
The case study ‘MSF and Srebrenica 1993-2003’ explores the constraints and dilemmas raised when MSF spoke out about the events that occurred in Srebrenica’s Muslim enclave. The enclave was besieged in 1993 and then seized by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.
The Hunting and Killing of Rwandan Refugees in Zaire-Congo: 1996-1997
The ‘Hunting and killings of the Rwandan refugee in Zaire/Congo’ case study is describing the constraints and dilemmas faced by Médecins Sans Frontières’ teams in 1996 and 1997 when trying to bring assistance to the Rwandan refugees in Eastern Zaire, after their camps had been attacked by rebel forces supported by the Rwandan army.
Salvadoran Refugee Camps In Honduras 1988
The 'Salvadoran Refugee Camps in Honduras 1988' case study describes the dilemmas regarding a stance that … was not supposed to be public. In 1988, after 8 years in the Salvadoran refugee camps in Honduras, MSF decided to withdraw following excessive, and even dangerous, demands by the refugee committees which were extensions of the Salvadoran guerrilla forces.
MSF and the war in the former Yugoslavia 1991-2003
From 1991–2003, MSF bore witness to the war stricken former Yugoslavia, marked by ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and a neglectful international community. In doing so, we found many reasons to speak out. ‘MSF and the war in the former Yugoslavia’, lays bare the dilemmas we faced as a medical humanitarian organisation trying to support the populations in need.
Rwandan Refugee Camps in Zaire and Tanzania 1994-1995
The 'Rwandan refugee camps in Zaire -Tanzania 1994-1995' case study is describing the constraints and dilemmas met by MSF when confronted with camps under the tight control of ‘refugee leaders” responsible for the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsis from April to June 1994.
Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN “Military-Humanitarian” Intervention
The ‘Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN “Military-Humanitarian” Intervention‘ case study is describing the difficulties and dilemmas met by MSF while helping the Somali people, after the civil war started in 1991. Insecurity in the region, resulted in an intervention by UN armed forces aiming to protect aid convoys and humanitarian workers.
MSF and the Rohingya 1992 - 2014
The Rohingya people live in northern Rakhine state (formerly Arakan), Myanmar. The stateless Rohingya are predominately an Indo-Aryan Muslim minority, in a majority-Buddhist country. Since the late 70s, the Rohingya have fled persecution and violence to seek refuge in Bangladesh. The case study "MSF and the Rohingya 1992 - 2014" brings to light two decades of MSF advocacy activities as part of its humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya people and explores the questions and dilemmas the organisation was confronted with surrounding speaking out.