This project examines bottom-up perspectives on accountability for extreme hunger. 2017 saw the declaration of four famines around the world. It was clear that starvation had not ended. The United Nations and other actors at an international level started to explore the potential for international criminal culpability for those who caused starvation. These discussions highlight that starvation was often used as a method of war. This research project investigates how extreme hunger has been understood in South Sudan overtime and during the 2017 period of famine. The research pays attention to local mechanisms used for redistributing food or for holding people accountable for the hunger of others, including local chiefs’ courts. In some areas, chiefs’ courts in the dry season suspend all other cases and only deal with those relating to hunger. They are known as hunger courts.
The research is being led by the Bridge Network and Naomi Pendle. The research includes court observations, oral history interviews, archival research and data from recent, large-scale surveys in South Sudan.