Practice Relating to Rule 53. Starvation as a Method of Warfare
Rwanda’s Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) provides:
“War crime” shall also mean any of the following acts committed in armed conflicts:
9° starving the civilian population and preventing humanitarian assistance from reaching it;
Anyone who commits one of the war crimes provided for in Article 10 of this law shall be punished by the following penalties:
1° the death penalty or life imprisonment where he has committed a crime provided for in point 1°, 4°, 5°, 6°, 9° or 10° of Article 10 of this law.
On the basis of the replies by Rwandan army officers to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Rwanda emphasizes that the use of starvation as a method of warfare is regarded as a war crime in Rwanda.
The report concludes that the prohibition on using starvation as a method of warfare is regarded by Rwanda as part of customary international law.