We are glad to be able to share with you the digital version of the English/Somali-language book “Spared from the Spear: Traditional Somali Behaviour in Warfare” (Somali: “Biri-ma-geydo (lama-dilaan): hab-dhaqankii Soomaalidii hore ee colaadda”). This publication explores the Somali customary code of war, known as “Biri-ma-geydo” (“spared from the spear”) in light of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Compiled and edited by Musa Yusuf Hussein, Mohammed Abdillaahi Riraash and Ibrahim Haki M. Wa’ais, the book was jointly published by the ICRC and the Somalia Red Crescent Society in 1997.

Much of this traditional Somali code is in accord with both IHL and Islamic teachings related to the conduct of war. Its regulations went to great lengths to prevent hostilities from getting out of hand and reaching such a level where feelings of extreme hatred and bitterness would be generated, making it difficult to achieve reconciliation between warring groups. For example, children, elders, women and other non-combatants were offered special protection, and needed to be provided with safety and security during the conduct of hostilities.

Please find the publication here:

Biri Ma Geydo eng

Spared From the Spear (English)

Biri Ma Geydo somali

Spared from the Spear (Somali)