Practice Relating to Rule 72. Poison and Poisoned Weapons
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows:
Based on the tradition of fighting with honour that was so cherished by Somalis, there were weapons whose employment in warfare was permitted, and others whose use was prohibited. … [T]hose that were banned included … poison [and] poisoned arrows.
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.