“Violence against humanitarian workers on the rise” – Study
You perhaps have heard that another canadian was kidnapped in Sudan this week. this follows the abduction of three MSF workers last month in darfur, including canadian laura archer. a recent report from the “Centre on International Cooperation” in new york, detailing violence against humanitarian workers, says that violence against aid workers is becoming more common. it is getting more dangerous to work for an NGO in some places than to be a UN peacekeeper, particularly in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Sudan. the humanitarian space dwindles further.
most of the incidents, according to the report by Abby Stoddard, Adele Harmer and Victoria DiDomenico, the increase in attacks seems most likely due to political motivations. interestingly, if one removes the top three countries from the list, there is a consistent trend for LESS violence for evey 10 000 people in the field.
i’m curious as to whether aid groups, or ngo’s, are being seen as western emmisaries in these increasingly ideologically polarized places. i can speak more to sudan, as i know it better, but the recent actions to expel western ngo’s from the country seem in response to what is being interpreted as in incursion on sovereign soil. i know msf is struggling for access, to declare their complete independence from outside influence, in the hopes they can return. one wonders if the trend noted above is true, if we are being seen as part of the a larger undeclared political agenda, or if we are simply unarmed, convenient tools to provide resources, to be used as pawns in larger political maneuvers.