War and Famine in Africa

Alex de Waal
Volume 49 Issue 1A
Published: 23 April 2018
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19088/1968-2018.118

War is the major cause of famine in Africa. Wars cause famine in three major ways: (1) the direct destruction of battle, and the consumption of resources, including food, by armies; (2) famine is a weapon of war, particularly during sieges and for counterinsurgency purposes – strategies such as population relocation and restrictions on movement and trade are tantamount to creating famine in many African countries; (3) in countries such as Somalia, state structures and warlords sustain themselves by predating on the poor, creating famine.

Article first published October 1993, IDSB24.4.



From Issue: Vol 49, No 1A (2018) | Inclusive Peace and Security