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The Just Security Podcast: The Starvation War Crime in Sudan and Gaza

Sudan and Gaza are teetering on the brink of man-made famine.

In Sudan, fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the rival Rapid Support Forces has displaced more than 7 million people with 18 million people enduring acute food insecurity, and nearly 5 million of those suffering at emergency levels, according to the World Food Programme.

In Gaza, Israel’s war against Hamas has left 1.1 million people, half the territory’s population, facing “catastrophic” food shortages, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification process.

Using starvation as a method of warfare is a war crime. And while the most urgent need is for immediate access to food and humanitarian aid, the crises in Sudan and Gaza also raise important questions about how to hold those responsible for potential atrocities to account.

Joining the show to discuss the situations in Gaza and Sudan, whether the parties to the conflict might be committing the war crime of starvation of civilians, and what might be done about it, is leading expert Tom Dannenbaum.

Tom is an Associate Professor of International Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he is also Co-Director of the Center for International Law and Governance. Tom is a foremost expert on international humanitarian law, including: starvation of civilians, siege warfare directed at a civilian population, and accountability for these acts.

Listen to the episode by clicking below.

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