Clearing Landmines in Libya

September 3rd, 2020 - by Humanity & Inclusion

Clearing Explosive Weapons and Keeping Communities Safe

Humanity & Inclusion

(August 2020) — Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime, Libya, especially Misrata and Tawergha, has been wracked by violence between rival militia and the uncontrolled influx of weapons, creating a situation of ongoing insecurity. There are incredible amounts of remnants of war that remain a threat to the population, especially in Tawergha. People are slowly starting to return to the ghost-town. 

Humanity & Inclusion started its clearance operation in 2011, but the civil war interrupted our mission between 2015 and 2017. In Tawergha, since November 2019, our teams have destroyed nearly 450 items, weighing two tons. Between 2012 and 2014, Humanity & Inclusion’s clearance teams destroyed 122,273 unexplored unexploded ordnance, RPGs, missiles, and ammo, leftover from the civil war. “We also destroyed WW2 mines,” says Simon Elmont, Humanity & Inclusion’s EOD Field Manager in Libya.

Soon after the war ended, Humanity & Inclusion’s team started providing risk education sessions to children at school and in the local mosques. Our staff explained the risks of explosive weapons of war and what to do should they spot any. “When children know what a grenade, ammunition, or an RPG look like, they are safer.” 

Humanity & Inclusion in Libya 

Humanity & Inclusion has been operating in Libya since 2011, responding to the needs that emerged from the 2011 armed conflict. Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime, Libya has been wracked by violence between rival militia and the uncontrolled influx of weapons, creating a situation of ongoing insecurity. 

Large numbers of landmines, cluster munitions, and other explosive devices were used in Libya, and tons of weapons still lay scattered throughout the country, posing a grave risk to civilians.

The organization is providing basic medical assistance, including rehabilitation care, while also supporting local health and rehabilitation centers.

Our Current Work 

Currently, Humanity & Inclusion employs a team of 80 national and nine international staff members who work diligently to: 

Emergency Intervention 

In partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health, Humanity & Inclusion works to improve the functional independence of the most vulnerable people with disabilities and injuries by providing home-based physical rehabilitation and mobility devices.

Enhance Mental Health

Humanity & Inclusion works to enhance the wellbeing and resilience of people with psychosocial distress by providing home-based psychosocial support and referrals to specialized MHPSS services. 

Our Past Work

Our team in Libya has been in the country for nine years, promoting a culture that is inclusive for ALL people with disabilities and who are vulnerable. Our work continues to evolve to meet the needs of the communities where we serve.

Read on to learn more about our past work in Libya and consider investing in our future.

Protecting Vulnerable Populations  

Humanity & Inclusion has deployed a mobile team to identify the most vulnerable displaced people, especially children and people with disabilities in need of medical care. Our team provided rehabilitation and psychosocial support for people with disabilities directly or referred to nearby health centers by:

  1. Supporting 11 health centers
  2. Training staff
  3. Distributing orthopedic devices 
  4. Providing information to medical staff and patients

Mine Clearance

Three teams were deployed in Tripoli, working primarily in the districts most affected by the fighting to identify, remove, and destroy mines and other explosive remnants of war. 

Mine Risk Education

Since the start of its operations, Humanity & Inclusion has trained 900 Libyan nationals to educate communities about the risks posed by landmines and other unexploded remnants of war. 

Our teams and partners work directly in schools and businesses and with local authorities. 

Small Arms Risk Awareness

In addition to the danger of landmines and unexploded ordnance, Humanity & Inclusion identified the risk posed by light weapons in the hands of civilians. 

In collaboration with the authorities and local organizations, our awareness-raising teams deliver prevention messages in schools and workplaces. 

The project did experience a six-month suspension of work due to safety concerns but resumed operations again in February 2015.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes