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UNSC adopts resolution condemning starvation as method of warfare

Author : | Published: Friday, May 25, 2018

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution that condemns the use of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.

The Council drew attention to the link between armed conflict and conflict‑induced food insecurity and the threat of famine.

In November last year, the United Nations sanction monitors accused the government of targeting civilians by blocking life-saving aid in some areas.

In a confidential report to the Security Council, they said a military campaign by government troops in the northwestern town of Wau and surrounding areas targeted more than 100,000 civilians.

However, authorities there said the report was baseless.

The UNSC is “deeply concerned about the level of global humanitarian needs and the threat of famine presently facing millions of people in armed conflicts, as well as about the number of undernourished people in the world”, read the resolution 2417 (2018).

The Security Council on Thursday called on all parties to armed conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law regarding the protection of civilians, stressing that these could be drivers of forced displacement.

Underlining the importance of safe and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel to civilians in armed conflicts, it also condemned the unlawful denial of such access and depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival.

This include wilfully impeding relief supply and access for responses to conflict‑induced food insecurity.

Urging those with influence over parties to conflict to remind the latter of their international obligations, the Council also recalled that it could consider adopting sanctions, where appropriate and in line with existing practices.

“This can be applied to individuals or entities obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance, or access to, or distribution of, humanitarian assistance,” the resolution added.

According to the World Food Programme, of the 13 largest food crises in the world today, 10 are conflict-related.

These are  Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

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