Mines Advisory Group räumt Minen in Libyen

Mines Advisory Group intensiviert Anstrengungen, explosive Hinterlassenschaften des bewaffneten Konflikts in Libyen zu räumen und die Bevölkerung über die Gefahren aufzuklären. (in Englisch)

Improvisierter Sprengsatz in Misrata, Libyen. (c) MAG Libya


LIBYA: Reducing danger and increasing security

Events in Libya have been fast-moving in July and August, resulting in the emergence of significant new needs, which MAG has been working hard to assess and respond to.

As the fighting has moved across the country, MAG has been supporting the delivery of humanitarian aid, reducing the risk represented by unexploded ordnance (UXO) through destroying dangerous items, and providing life-saving Risk Education to refugees based in Tunisia.

Examples of some of the work MAG carried out in July and August include:

Explosive Ordnance Disposal

Our Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts have been deployed predominantly in Ajdabiya and Misrata, coordinating their operations with representatives from Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), Joint Mine Action Coordination Team (JMACT) and other national and international organisations to ensure that the most urgent priorities are addressed first.

Since starting operations in the country in March, MAG has removed and destroyed more than 8,000 items of UXO, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, submunitions and sections of surface-to-air missiles.

Clearance of these items is crucial not only for the safety of returning populations, but also to support the rebuilding of essential infrastructure, and improving the safety of people delivering humanitarian aid as the situation in the east of the country gradually stabilises.

Security and funding permitting, future plans include expansion into the Western Mountains and to Brega and Ras Lanuf (in the east), in order to address confirmed urgent needs for communities living in, or coming back to, these areas.


In late August, MAG carried out an assessment in Brega (south-west of Benghazi), including a route assessment of the access road. A number of essential clearance activities were identified, in particular around warehouses that had been used for storage of munitions and off the verges of the main road, where people are starting to forage for vehicle spare parts.

It was also clear that there is a need for Risk Education to be delivered to the returning population. In July, MAG carried out an assessment in the Nafusa Mountains, also establishing a need both for clearance and urgent Risk Education.

Risk Education

Working with UNHCR, MAG has been providing Risk Education to refugees in Tunisia to help ensure that, as they returned to their homes in the west of the country (predominantly in the Nafusa Mountains) for Ramadan and Eid, they were aware of the risks represented by UXO and of appropriate behaviours to help reduce these risks for themselves and their families.

MAG is working to establish Community Focal Points (CFPs) – made up of a representative range of men, women and young people – in the most contaminated areas in and around Zintan.

The CFPs will deliver targeted Risk Education and will gather information for MAG on dangerous areas, to assist clearance operations and to ensure that MAG is able to focus its resources in the areas where community need is greatest.

Risk Education needs have also been identified in other parts of the country and MAG is working closely with the JMACT to ensure that these needs will be met.

MAG’s operations will reduce the danger of death and injury to which these movements expose the population, increasing security and underpinning the new government’s gradual progression towards the Rule of Law.

Donors to MAG's Libya operations: Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State; UK Department for International Development (DFID) / UKaid; UNHCR.

Source: Reuters Alertnet

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