Posts by: Alex DeWaal

The history of twenty-five years of international criminal tribunals suggests that few culprits of starvation crimes would be indicted and fewer still tried and convicted. Even a successful prosecution would be mostly symbolic, as most perpetrators would escape. But this should not discourage us. Criminalizing starvation has many ramifications. It allows us to shift the shame of starvation from the victim to the perpetrator, to explore restorative justice including reparations, and to develop guarantees of non-recurrence.

The ultimate objective isn’t putting a villain in jail, but making the infliction of starvation so morally toxic that it is unthinkable.

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A new occasional paper by Alex de Waal, Pax Africana or Middle East Security Alliance in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea? examines the peace and security challenges facing the Horn of Africa in the context of assertive military and political engagement from the Arabian Peninsular.

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The only way that a dictatorship has ever been overthrown in Sudan is by non-violent popular protest. The record of two ‘Khartoum Springs’ in 1964 and 1985 inspires people across the country to turn out, day after day, hoping to achieve a third. I personally hope they achieve that goal. The Sudanese people deserve a […]

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The diversion (a.k.a. stealing, manipulation) of food aid by the Houthis in Yemen is suddenly getting a lot of press. The detailed investigation by the Associated Press documents abuses on both sides, but most press coverage (ex: The Guardian) has focused on the allegations against the Houthis. The World Food Programme alleges that all […]

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President Omar Hassan al Bashir has been in power for 29½ years. The median age of Sudanese citizens is nineteen years: well over half of the Sudanese have known no other leader. Only the small percentage of Sudanese aged over fifty were able to vote in an election in which Bashir was not the leading […]

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For the last 25 years, Somalis and international interlocutors concerned with state-building appear to have assumed that ‘clans’ are the core identity units in Somalia, bonded by primordial ties. However, the prevalent formula that redefines selected corporate lineage aggregations as political-territorial identity units is a historical contingency that needs to be explained.

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