Practice Relating to Rule 80. Booby-Traps
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) does not prohibit booby-traps as such. It does, however, state that the main concern is whether indiscriminate use endangers the civilian population. When employing booby-traps, it says, the military must therefore consider what or who is the likely target.
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states:
Prohibited Weapons. The following weapons have been prohibited:
(5) … Booby Traps.
… Booby Traps may only be used when placed in close proximity to military objects; their exact location is recorded, warning signs posted and when the tactical situation demands them. Booby Traps, which are attached or associated with any internationally recognised protective symbol, sign or signal, the sick, wounded or dead persons, burial or cremation sites, medical facilities, medical equipment or supplies or medical transport, children’s toys or articles associated with children, food and drink, kitchen utensils or appliances (except in military establishments), religious objects, historic monuments, works of art or places of worship and animals or their carcasses (Protocol accepted in 1980).
Upon acceptance of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, South Africa stated: “[T]he provisions of the amended Protocol which by their contents or nature may be applied also in peacetime, shall be observed at all times.”