Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need
Section B. Impediment of humanitarian relief
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states that, in the case of a blockade, “it is … prohibited to hinder relief shipments for the civilian population”.
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or a non-international armed conflict, “impedes relief supplies, in contravention of international humanitarian law”.
In 1994, in a statement in the lower house of parliament, a German Minister of State, in line with the other members of the EU, condemned the hampering of humanitarian aid in Sudan.
In 1996, during a debate in the UN General Assembly, Germany called upon all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan not to hamper humanitarian aid.
In 2004, during a debate in the UN Security Council, the representative of Germany stated:
There are new actors in the area of the protection of civilians in armed conflict whom we have to deal with. More than ever before, we need constructive engagement with non-State armed groups. They not only have the potential to deny humanitarian actors humanitarian access; they actually do it.