2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Libya

Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Landmines and UXO remaining from conflicts that date to World War II still contaminate Libya. More recently, NATO bombing during Operation Unified Protector damaged numerous ammunition storage areas, scattering UXO in surrounding areas. After the 2011 revolution, stockpiles of unsecured Qadhafi-era arms and munitions proliferated throughout the country and into the region. In mid-2014, fierce fighting between Libyan militias in and around Tripoli and its international airport caused further landmine and UXO contamination, and led to a UN warning that landmines used in the airport area represent a major hazard for civilians, especially children. A survey and assessment of Libyan arms and munitions remain a priority in identifying the total scope of weapons proliferation.

From FY2011 through FY2014, the United States invested more than $23.5 million dollars working with partners and allies to coordinate a CWD response with a focus on MANPADS as well as landmine and UXO removal in Libya. Access to communities has been particularly challenging, given ongoing conflict and instability. The United States continues to work with the Libyan government, through the ITF, to build the capacity of the Libyan Mine Action Center (LMAC) and to assist communities as they become accessible.

In FY2014, PM/WRA received $1 million for CWD in Libya that was not executed as of this report. Information on the use of this funding will be included in the FY2015 report. Several CWD projects in Libya continued in FY2014 with funding from FY2013. These include:

• ITF continued training LMAC personnel in an effort to build organizational capacity in CWD, mine and UXO clearance, and management best practices.

• MAG technical advisers and local teams surveyed, inventoried, and disposed of weapons and munitions in ammunition storage areas. Teams also cleared UXO and provided stockpile management in the al-Jufrah region.

• Wilton Park planned a coordination and cooperation workshop for the international community in February 2015.