Practice Relating to Rule 52. Pillage
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
370. Looting. – Anyone who commits an act designed to give rise to looting in a city or in other places, even if they have been taken by assault, shall be punished by death with demotion.
372. Unlawful appropriation of goods. – 1. A soldier or other person serving in or accompanying the armed forces of the State who takes possession, needlessly and without authorization, of food, clothing or equipment, or who has them handed over to him, shall be punished by military confinement for up to five years.
2. If the act is committed by two or more people in concert, the penalty shall be increased by one third to one half.
3. If violence is used, a penalty of military confinement for one to eight years shall be applied.
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows:
The leader … gave out the following instructions which were to be strictly followed:
13. The sanctity of private homes should not be violated, and their contents should not be touched, except for the purpose of getting a drink of water.
The publication also described traditional Somali practice as follows:
In the case of intra-Rahanwein wars, the Malaaqs
and the Garaads
forbade [their men] to loot any livestock whatsoever, or to plunder any other private property. The looting of animals was, however, permitted during wars with non-Rahanwein clans who were first to engage in such a practice.
In 2011, in its comments on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning Somalia’s report, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia referred to “Spared from the Spear” as its “own Geneva Conventions”:
In times of hostilities, the Biri-Ma-Geydo
(Spared from the Spear), i.e. Somalia’s own “Geneva Conventions”[,] which existed long before the adoption of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, mitigated and regulated the conduct of clan hostilities and the treatment of immune groups.
In 2011, in its report to the Human Rights Council, Somalia stated:
75. Somalia has not ratified [the 1977] AP [Additional Protocol] II and it is therefore not directly applicable to Somalia as a matter of treaty law. The Government is aware that many provisions of AP II represent customary IHL rules and therefore apply to the situation in Somalia. Such provisions include Article 4 providing guarantees to persons taking no active part in hostilities … due to the fact that these norms are reflected in Common Article 3 of the  Geneva Conventions.
76. The Government forces are also bound to respect customary IHL rules relating to the prohibited methods and means of warfare including … pillage.