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MSF Speaking Out

MSF and the War in the Former Yugoslavia 1991-2003

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All Speaking Out Case Studies > MSF and the war in the former Yugoslavia 1991-2003

On December 14, 1995, the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords put an end to the war in the former Yugoslavia. 20 years later, MSF reveals the constraints, questions and dilemmas of its public speaking in the context of a conflict 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.

Questions and dilemmas:

  • To what extent should MSF risk the lives of its staff in order to operate in conflict zones?
  • Should MSF condemn obstacles set up to limit the access to the population if it meant no longer having any access at all to this population?
  • Should MSF denounce the fact that humanitarian aid was presented by the international political leaders as the only solution to the conflict and call for military force, an action that lead to the loss of human lives?

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Additional materials

MAP MSF missions during the war in the former Yugoslavia (1991-2003)
MSF missions during the war in the former Yugoslavia (1991-2003)