Weiss and Minear explore the problems associated with attempting to operationalize the evolving international humanitarian norm that civilians, regardless of location, are entitled to sustenance and medical assistance. In a host of recent civil wars in Africa, the attention of the international community has been drawn to the use of food deprivation by both governments and insurgents. The use of such deprivation has traditionally been part of the arsenals of warring factions, but the widespread and active mobilization of international public opinion against such tactics is relatively new. The authors argue that, while all historical situations are in some sense unique, Sudan is not so idiosyncratic that the lessons and the precedents cannot be replicated elsewhere to protect civilians caught between warring sides in civil wars.
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