Practice Relating to Rule 53. Starvation as a Method of Warfare
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states: “It is prohibited to utilize famine as a method of warfare against civilians.”
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, under the heading “Basic rules of IHL” and in a section on “Treatment”, stated: “It is prohibited to starve the civilian population.”
In an exercise asking students to identify IHL violations, the ministry provided the following examples:
[A former combatant reports:] “The federal forces could not take over the villages. So, they prevented humanitarian aid to reach them. That is the strategy they use – create famine – and they do not have the right to do that.”
[A captured combatant states:] “To deprive the civilian population of food and water is a strategy of war. It is good to deprive them of food and water. This will weaken them.”
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “[O]ffences related to violations of humanitarian law”, listed “[i]ntentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival”.
The ministry also stated:
 Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions
Article 14 … Starvation of civilians as a method of combat is prohibited. It is therefore prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless, for that purpose, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works.