Practice Relating to Rule 113. Treatment of the Dead
Section A. Respect for the dead
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
Anyone who mutilates or disfigures the corpse of a soldier who has died in war, or who commits upon it acts of desecration or other acts of brutality or obscenity, or who steals all or part of the corpse, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 10 years.
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows: “The bodies of the enemy dead should not be mutilated or burned”.
The publication also described traditional Somali practice as follows: “[T]o mutilate the body of a dead person or uncover its genitals were considered to be a particularly outrageous violation of custom.”
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:
Somalia has not ratified AP II [1977 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.