Practice Relating to Rule 84. The Protection of Civilians and Civilian Objects from the Effects of Incendiary Weapons
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states:
[The 1980] Protocol III [to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons] contains restrictions applying where incendiary weapons are used. This protocol does not constitute a total prohibition of the use of incendiary weapons – which Sweden and other states had proposed. However, the protocol lays down such heavy restrictions on their use that there is reason to characterize it as a partial prohibition of incendiary weapons.
A great bone of contention has been how incendiary weapons are to be defined. Agreement has now been reached on a definition by which “incendiary weapon” covers any weapon or ammunition primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injuries to persons through the action of flames, heat or a combination of these. Incendiary weapons do not include those with incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants or tracers. Nor shall armour-piercing projectiles and explosive shells that act through penetrating, blast or fragmentation effects in combination with the incendiary effect be considered as incendiary weapons.
This new rule [in Article 2 of Protocol III] affords civilians considerably better protection than hitherto against incendiary weapons.
There is a need to supplement the present Protocol III so that the agreement constitutes a complete prohibition of incendiary weapons
. In this way, protection of civilians could be further enhanced.
[emphasis in original]