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Positioning, Politics and Pertinence
Natalie Roberts

among a plethora of scientific, public health, UN and humanitarian organisations, as well as the Congolese government and state institutions. Building on its long-standing presence in the region as well its prominent role in the response to the West African epidemic, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) positioned itself as a key response actor from the first day of the outbreak. Yet despite incorporating all the elements considered requisite for success, the Kivu response was

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Sean Healy and Victoria Russell

Introduction This is the story of a meeting between a humanitarian operation and a conspiracy theory, and what happened next. The operation was a search and rescue mission run on the Mediterranean by many different non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including Médecins Sans Frontières, 1 aiming to save the lives of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers lost at sea. The conspiracy theory 2 was that this operation was the opposite of what it

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Interpreting Violence on Healthcare in the Early Stage of the South Sudanese Civil War
Xavier Crombé and Joanna Kuper

Introduction 1 On 15 December 2013, only two and a half years after the Republic of South Sudan had become an independent state, the long-simmering tensions between President Salva Kiir and his former vice-president, Riek Machar, erupted into armed clashes in the capital, Juba. War soon broke out. This article seeks to document and analyse violence affecting the provision of healthcare by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and its intended

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Hakim Khaldi

, and how? Remotely or on site? At the very least, we had to decipher the diverging political and military agendas, and then adapt, persist or sometimes just give up. In this article, I will present the full range of methods used to acquire knowledge and obtain information as well as the various networks used to carry out this venture. I will also show how Médecins Sans Frontières’ operations became a balancing act, punctuated by episodes of adapting to the various

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Arjun Claire

and efficiency of aid delivery implicitly override the principle of humanity. And the search for solutions to today’s increasingly protracted crises overshadows the need for social justice. In some ways, this supposed tension between a strictly technical and neutral humanitarian action and a more political and morally driven one has existed for some time. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) starkly illustrates this tension. It may be built into the DNA of the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Politics of ‘Proximity’ and Performing Humanitarianism in Eastern DRC
Myfanwy James

and Change , 1 – 22 . Fassin , D. ( 2007 ), ‘Humanitarianism as a Politics of Life’ , Public Culture , 19 : 3 , 499 – 520 . Fox , R. C. ( 2014 ), Doctors Without Borders: Humanitarian Quests, Impossible Dreams of Médecins Sans Frontières ( Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press ). Geissler , P. ( 2013 ), ‘Public Secrets in Public Health: Knowing Not to Know While Making Scientific Knowledge’ , American Ethnologist , 40 : 1 , 13 – 34 . Givoni , M. ( 2016 ), ‘Reluctant Cosmopolitanism: Perceptions Management and the Performance of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editors’ Introduction
Marc Le Pape and Michaël Neuman

All of the authors contributing to this issue of Journal of Humanitarian Affairs (JHA) agreed to write articles elaborating on the presentations they gave at the international conference hosted by FMSH (Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme) and MSF-CRASH (Médecins Sans Frontières – Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires) on 20–22 March 2019 at the Hôtel de Lauzun in Paris. The title of the conference was ‘Extreme violence: investigate, rescue, judge. Syria, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo’. This issue also includes a recent text

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan and Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

of the twenty-first century, typified by the Overseas Development Institute’s five-year ‘Global History of Modern Humanitarian Action’ project (2011–15), Médecins sans Frontières’ Speaking Out initiative ( Médecins sans Frontières, n.d. ), its recently released associative history ( Médecins sans Frontières, 2018 ) and the 2015 conference on the fundamental principles in ‘a critical historical perspective’, hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse
Juliano Fiori

Introduction London, 10 September 2018 Since 2015, more than one and a half million people have traversed the Mediterranean, seeking asylum in Europe. The EU has been negotiating their screening and resettlement outside of Europe. European governments have closed some ports and borders to them. And neofascist groups from across Europe have rallied on the ground and online to prevent their entry. Thousands have died at sea. Multinational NGOs like Médecins Sans Frontières and Save the Children have carried out search

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Michaël Neuman, Fernando Espada, and Róisín Read

, 2019 ). In recent years, several publications have attempted to analyse these discourses critically. In 2011, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) published a book on humanitarian negotiations ( Magone et al ., 2011 ) in which the authors deconstructed ‘declinism’ while emphasising the intrinsically political dimension of aid, the responsibility of aid organisations to establish their work space and the crucial role of negotiations in the implementation of relief operations. Other

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs