Practice Relating to Rule 93. Rape and Other Forms of Sexual Violence
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
A commander who causes serious harm to lawful enemy belligerents who have fallen into his power, or to the sick, wounded or shipwrecked, by not according them the treatment prescribed by law or by international agreements … shall be punished, unless the act constitutes a more serious offence, by military confinement for not less than three years.
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows:
[T]he practice of raping women or subjecting them to any other indignity, be it in war-time or in peace-time, was something alien to Somali culture. Since every woman was regarded as either a “daughter” or a potential spouse or a potential mother-in-law, she could not be treated except with respect, care and kindness. If, however, it happened at all that an immoral criminal violated a woman’s dignity by raping her, there were strict customary laws that were invoked and agreed ways of redressing the damage.
There was general consensus among Somalis that women should not be abused during a conflict and that their dignity should not be assailed. In fact, the incidence of such acts as rape in the context of conflict [was] quite rare in traditional Somali society, if they took place at all.
[A]n act of rape was compensated for in the following manner, depending on the category of the victim:
1. A girl of pre-adolescent age (under 15 years) was compensated for with 15 she-camels.
2. A maiden, betrothed to a man, but not wedded yet: 15 she-camels.
3. A woman whose husband had died and who still wore the mourning dress: 15 she-camels.
4. An elderly woman, enfeebled by her years: 15 she-camels.
5. A woman who nursed a baby boy: 50 camels.
6. A maiden of marriageable age who, nonetheless, was neither married nor betrothed to anyone was to be compulsorily married to her assailant with payment of the full bride price she would have normally fetched. If he refused to do so, then he was obligated to pay her full blood compensation, amounting to 50 camels.
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.