Somalia 1991-1993: Civil War, Famine Alert and a UN “Military-Humanitarian” Intervention

Somalia 1991-1993

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 during the first years that it was committed to helping the Somali people, after the civil war started in 1991: Should MSF employ armed guards? As the quasi-only source of information in the field, how far could MSF go in releasing information without favouring one party to the conflict or another? How to draw attention on the famine in Somalia, when all cameras were focused on the Gulf War? What position should MSF take about an armed intervention aiming to protect humanitarian aid convoys, with widespread support of the population, but raising MSF’s fears that it would worsen the insecurity? How should MSF react to the excesses and abuses of this intervention?