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Accountability for famine: learning from the chiefs’ courts in South Sudan

Pendle, Naomi (2018) Accountability for famine: learning from the chiefs’ courts in South Sudan. Conflict Research Management (03 Oct 2018). Blog Entry.

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After recent famines, accountability for starvation is back on the global agenda. At the same time, sub-national authorities who live through periods of extreme hunger are also trying to make starvation socially and legally unthinkable. In recent years, South Sudan has hit the headlines as a prime example of famine and widespread, protracted hunger. This hunger has been caused by conflicts driven by violent competition among members of the political elites. There may also be examples in South Sudan of deliberate famine, but at minimum the prolonged lack of food has been caused by political neglect and indifference. From June this year, if you visited certain Dinka villages in Gogrial (north western South Sudan), every day you would find a big crowd gathered beneath the large tree of the chiefs’ court. The crowd would gather from first light and the court would continue until the sun had nearly set. These popular court sittings were hunger courts.

Item Type: Online resource (Blog Entry)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2021 13:36
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 23:03

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