Libya is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. The country consists of three historical regions, Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometers (700,000 sq. mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world and has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world.
Since the collapse of the Gathafi regime, Libya has become a scene of military conflicts in which the civilian population has suffered the most. Among the major problems that those conflicts resulted in are the presence of landmines/ERW affecting all Libyan areas
Libya Not a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty or the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The extent of contamination by landmines, cluster munition remnants, IEDs and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) is not known. In 2016, non-technical survey (NTS) of recent confrontation areas was conducted by national clearance operators, with the support of international operators. A total of 479km2 of suspected hazardous area (SHA) and 235km2 of confirmed hazardous area (CHA) was identified in 2016. Clearance was reportedly conducted by army engineers, police, the National Safety Authority (NSA) and volunteers, but not in accordance with international standards and without providing reports to the Libyan Mine Action Center (LibMAC).
The Libyan Mine Action Center (LibMAC) was mandated by the Minister of Defense to coordinate mine action in December 2011. Its headquarters are in Tripoli, in the west. In 2015 and 2016, it did not have an office in east Libya, however, it coordinated with institutions in Benghazi, and in April 2016, a regional operations manager was appointed for the east.
Libya is contaminated with mines but no national survey has been conducted to determine the extent. Contamination dates back to the desert battles of World War II and conflicts with Egypt in 1977 and Chad in 1980−1987, which resulted in mines being laid on those borders. The border with Tunisia is also affected. Also mines were emplaced around a number of locations, including military facilities and key infrastructure.
Mines were used in the 2011 conflict leading to Colonel Qaddafi’s overthrow. The escalation of conflict in Libya in 2014 brought new reports of mine use by armed groups fighting around Tripoli airport.
The most commonly used antipersonnel mine type was the low-metal content Brazilian T-AB1 mine, but evidence has also been found of Belgian NR 413 stake and bounding fragmentation mines (PRB NR 442). Antivehicle mines used by government forces have included Chinese Type 72SP and Type 84 mines that were scattered by rockets and Belgian PRB-M3 and PRB-M3A1 antivehicle mines, as well as minimum-metal mines.
Cluster Munition Contamination
Cluster munition contamination is the consequence of armed conflict in 2011 and in 2015 but the extent is not known. In 2011, armed forces used at least three types of cluster munitions, including the Chinese dual-purpose Type 84, which also functions as an antivehicle mine, and the Spanish MAT-120, which holds 21 submunitions. Additional contamination by cluster munition remnants occurred as a result of kick-outs from ammunition storage areas bombed by NATO forces in 2011.In 2015, cluster munitions were used during fighting between Libya’s rival governments. This included RBK-250 PTAB-2.5M bombs.
Other ERW, including IEDs
Ongoing conflict in 2015 and 2016 has resulted in significant ERW contamination in numerous cities across the whole of Libya, adding to the contamination that arose from the nine-month revolution in 2011 and sporadic fighting since that period.
ERW has affected public infrastructure such as schools, universities, and hospitals. As of January 2017, the number of internally displaced persons in Libya is estimated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to be more than 348,000. The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) states that there is no prospect of safe return for these persons before technical and non-technical surveying, spot-tasking, and/or battle area clearance are carried out. As of January 2017, thousands of internally displaced persons were returning, and the casualty rate from IEDs and ERW was reportedly high.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have proliferated in Libya during 2016. They are found across the country, but particularly in areas that had been occupied by non-state armed group Islamic State, such as Sirte, where they are estimated to account for 15% of contamination, with the remaining 85% being UXO.
AMACC in Libya
AMACC was registered and accredited in Libya in 2016, its staff support and provide the essential experiences and skills to the impacted Libyans of mines and explosives remnants of war, since the beginning of the conflict by RE training to focal points in different communities and implementing NTS in Kiklah area.