Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 03 August 2016

Summary: Non-signatory Libya has expressed its support for the convention and interest in joining, but has not taken any steps towards accession. Libya participated as an observer in the convention’s First Review Conference in September 2015 and voted in favor of a UN resolution on the convention in December 2015.

Libya is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions, but it imported them and is believed to possess a stockpile. Government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi used cluster munitions at various locations in 2011 and cluster munitions were used during inter-militia fighting in late 2014 and early 2015.


Libya has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Libya has expressed its support for the convention and interest in joining, but has not taken any steps toward accession.[1] Previously, in September 2012, Libya informed States Parties that it was “committed” to promoting the convention.[2]

On 7 December 2015, Libya voted in favor of a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which calls on states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[3] Libya did not explain why it supported the non-binding resolution, which 139 states voted to adopt, including many non-signatories.

Since mid-2014, hostilities have left Libya divided by rival governments: an internationally recognized government based in the east under the command of Gen. Khalifa Hiftar, and a self-proclaimed government in Tripoli backed by an alliance of militias known as “Libya Dawn” that controls much of western Libya. Hiftar’s “Libya Dignity” operation involves former members of the military, tribal factions, and militias from Zintan. As of June 2016, both claim legitimacy as the sole political authority, but neither has been able to exert full control nationally.

Under the former government of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya participated in three regional conferences held during the 2007–2008 Oslo Process that developed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but attended the formal negotiations in Dublin in May 2008 only as an observer and did not join in the consensus adoption of the convention.[4] Libya did not attend the Oslo Signing Conference in December 2008.

Libya participated as an observer in the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015. It attended the convention’s annual Meeting of States Parties in 2010 and 2012–2013, as well as intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2013. Libya has also participated in regional workshops on cluster munitions, most recently in Lomé, Togo in May 2013. Libya has voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2015.[5]

Libya is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Libya is not known to have produced or exported cluster munitions, but it imported them and likely possesses a stockpile.

The current status and composition of Libya’s stockpiled cluster munitions is not known, including information on the types, quantities, and storage locations.Portions of the stockpile of cluster munitions may have been seized by anti-government forces and civilians in 2011, after storage facilities at arms depots were abandoned by government forces and in some cases were subject to NATO airstrikes. There has been no systematic or coordinated stockpile destruction effort by successive interim governments or international actors.

From the use of cluster munitions in the past five years, it is now also clear that Libya has stockpiled air-dropped bombs (RBK-series bombs containing AO-1SCh and PTAB-2.5M bomblets), ground-fired munitions (MAT-120 mortar bombs containing submunitions), and an unidentified type of submunition contained in Grad-type 122mm surface-to-surface rockets.[6] Additionally, in the past, Jane’s Information Group listed Libya as possessing KMGU dispensers (which deploy submunitions) and RBK-500 aerial cluster bombs, presumably of Soviet/Russian origin.[7]

In June 2011, Spain confirmed that it transferred a total of 1,055 MAT-120 cluster munitions containing 22,155 submunitions to Libya in 2006 and 2008.[8]

In March 2015, the commander of the Libyan Air Force of the internationally recognized government, Brig. Gen. Saqr al-Jerroushi, said “We have no cluster munitions” and have “only traditional, heavy munitions such as what was used during the Second World War.”[9]


While the last confirmed use of cluster munitions in Libya was in January 2015, there are indicators that additional attacks may have occurred since that time, including in 2016. For example, in March 2016, a defense blog published photographs that it credited to the Libyan National Army that indicate its forces may have used cluster munitions at least twice that month:

  • Photographs reportedly taken late on the evening of 28 March 2016 show RBK-250 cluster bombs being mounted on Mi-8T and Mi-35 helicopters at Labraq airbase in the eastern city of Beida.[10]
  • A photograph reportedly taken late in the evening of 8 March 2016 at Benina airbase in Benghazi shows an RBK-250-275 AO-1SCh cluster bomb mounted on a Mi-8T helicopter.[11]

Further evidence of cluster munition use may have gone unrecorded due to a lack of media and independent reporting from the ground.

In February 2015, a researcher for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace photographed several PTAB-2.5M submunitions in the rubble of a bank in Bin Jawad that a Libya Dawn commander told him was hit by an airstrike by the Libyan Air Force on or about 9 January 2015. In February 2015, Amnesty International reported the Libyan Air Force used cluster bombs in attacks against Libya Dawn forces in Bin Jawad on 18 December 2014.[12] In March 2015, Human Rights Watch reported credible evidence that air-dropped RBK-250 PTAB 2.5M cluster bombs had been used in Bin Jawad and Sirte since December 2014, citing interviews with witnesses and photographs.[13]

The Libyan Air Force admitted attacking Libya Dawn forces at both locations in early 2015, but Brig. Gen. al-Jerroushi denied that forces under his command used cluster bombs.[14]

In addition, in February 2015, a Facebook site run by a Libyan group calling itself the border guards unit posted photographs showing the remnants of an RBK-250-275 AO-1SCh cluster bomb, but no bomblets.[15] Another February 2015 photograph posted on the Facebook page of a Libyan satellite TV station showed two men wearing fatigues, one with a Libyan military insignia, standing in front of an RBK-250 PTAB-2.5M cluster bomb affixed to a military attack aircraft.[16]

More than two-dozen states have expressed concern at or condemned new use of cluster munitions, including eight that specifically expressed concern at the evidence of new cluster munition use in Libya.[17] The UN, the ICRC, and the CMC also condemned the use of cluster munitions. In March 2015, Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs described evidence of new use of cluster munitions in Libya as a “worrisome development” and said, “Libya must join the CCM [Convention on Cluster Munitions].”[18]

At the First Review Conference in September 2015, States Parties adopted the Dubrovnik Declaration, which affirms: “We are deeply concerned by any and all allegations, reports or documented evidence of the use of cluster munitions, including in Cambodia, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine and Yemen. We condemn any use of cluster munitions by any actor.”[19]

Previous use

During the 2011 conflict, government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi used three different types of cluster munitions at various locations.[20] Human Rights Watch researchers witnessed government forces fire ground-launched MAT-120 cluster munitions in Misrata in April 2011. In early 2012, clearance teams from Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the UN found remnants of an RBK-250 cluster bomb and about 30 PTAB-2.5M submunitions near the city of Ajdabiya, where Libyan government aircraft carried out airstrikes in March 2011. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Libya reported in 2012 that submunitions from 122mm cargo rockets used by the Libyan government were also found in the Nafusa Mountains near Jadu and Zintan.

At least 10 states and the European Union expressed concern at or condemned the use of cluster munitions in Libya in 2011.[21]

There is no evidence of cluster munition use by the countries involved in the NATO military action in in Libya in 2011, including by the United States (US) and other states that have not yet joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In its formal response to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Libya, NATO confirmed that it did not use cluster munitions in the Libya operation.[22] However, NATO airstrikes on ammunition storage facilities created hazards when munitions stored by Libya, including cluster munitions, were ejected into the surrounding environment.[23]

Previously, Libyan forces used air-delivered cluster munitions, likely RBK-series cluster bombs containing AO-1SCh and PTAB-2.5 submunitions, at various locations during its intervention in Chad during the 1986–1987 conflict.[24]

On 25 March 1986, US Navy aircraft attacked Libyan ships using Mk20 Rockeye cluster bombs; on the night of 14–15 April 1986, US Navy aircraft dropped 60 Rockeye bombs on the airfield at Benina.[25] On 27 November 2009, a commercial oil company survey crew in Libya found remnants of a German World War II-era “butterfly bomb” (an early version of a cluster bomb) and an explosive ordnance disposal expert subsequently identified six more such cluster munition remnants.[26]

[1] In October 2014, Libya informed a UN meeting that it is considering joining international treaties on conventional weapons but did not specifically mention the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Statement of Libya, UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 8 October 2014.

[2] Statement of Libya, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 12 September 2012. Notes by the CMC.

[3]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[4] At the Livingstone Conference on Cluster Munitions in April 2008, Libya endorsed the Livingstone Declaration, which called on African states to support the negotiation of a “total and immediate” prohibition on cluster munitions. At the Kampala Conference on the Convention on Cluster Munitions in September 2008, Libya endorsed the Kampala Action Plan, which called on all African states to sign and ratify the convention as soon as possible. For more details on Libya’s cluster munition policy and practice up to early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 220–221.

[5] Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 70/234, 23 December 2015. Libya voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013, and on 18 December 2014.

[6] See also, HRW, “Libya: Evidence of New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 March 2015.

[7] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 842.

[8] The transfer took place before Spain instituted a moratorium on export of cluster munitions and prior to its adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Statement of Spain, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 29 June 2011. In the statement, Spain confirmed information provided to The New York Times by the Deputy Director General for Foreign Trade of Defense Materials and Dual Use Goods, Ramon Muro Martinez, that: “One license to Lybia [sic] consisting of 5 cluster munitions for demonstration was issued in August 2006. The export took place in October 2006. There were two more licenses issued in December 2007 with a total amount of 1,050 cluster munitions. They were sent in March 2008.” C.J. Chivers, “Following Up, Part 2. Down the Rabbit Hole: Arms Exports and Qaddafi’s Cluster Bombs,” The New York Times – At War Blog, 22 June 2011.

[9] See also, HRW, “Libya: Evidence of New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 March 2015.

[10] Delalande Arnaud, “‘Libyan airstrikes’ situation update 26–28 March 2016,” AeroHistory blog, 29 March 2016.

[13] HRW found that the good condition of the paint on the bomb casings and lack of extensive weathering indicated that the remnants had not been exposed to the environment for long and were from a recent attack. See also, HRW, “Libya: Evidence of New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 March 2015.

[14] HRW, “Libya: Evidence of New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 March 2015.

[15] Photographs available here. The photographs were purportedly taken on the same date or shortly before at the Watiya Front, 120 kilometers southwest of Tripoli, where Libya Dawn were fighting forces aligned with Libya Dignity.

[16] The provenance of the photograph is unclear but writing on the bomb refers to the Jordanian Pilot Moadh al-Kasasbeh, who was killed by the extremist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in February, suggesting it is a recent image. HRW, “Libya: Evidence of New Cluster Bomb Use,” 15 March 2015.

[17] Including Austria, Burundi, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Ireland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand.

[18] SwedenArmsControl (@SweArmsControl), “Recent evidence of Cluster Munitions use in Libya HRW report shows. Worrisome development, Libya must join the CCM.,”16 March 2015, 04.39am, Tweet.

[19]The Dubrovnik declaration 2015: Spectemur agendo (judged by our actions),” annexed to the Final Report of the First Review Conference of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, CCM/CONF/2015/7, 13 October 2015.

[20] See, ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Libya: Cluster Munition Ban Policy,” 17 December 2012.

[21] The Monitor has recorded national statements by Australia, Austria, Burundi, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Iceland, Italy, Lao PDR, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, and the UK.

[22] NATO letter to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Libya, 15 February 2011. Cited in UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, “Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya,” A /HRC/19/68, 2 March 2012, p. 168, para. 638.

[23] Submunitions were also ejected from ammunition storage bunkers at a military depot near the town of Mizdah, 160 kilometers south of Tripoli, which was attacked by NATO aircraft more than 50 times between April and July 2011. In March 2012, HRW visited the depot and found approximately 15 PTAB-2.5M bomblets and about three-dozen submunitions of an unidentified DPICM type. Statement by HRW, Convention on Conventional Weapons Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War, Geneva, 25 April 2012.

[24] Handicap International, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 48.

[25] Daniel P. Bolger, Americans at War: 1975–1986, An Era of Violent Peace (Novato, CA.: Presidio Press, 1988), p. 423.

[26] Daily report by Jan-Ole Robertz, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technical Advisor, Countermine Libya, 27 November 2009.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 21 November 2016


The State of Libya has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.

In November 2015, a representative of Libya said that “the interim Government is not in a position to ratify the Convention for the time being…However, the Convention does not address the damage inflicted on States by the remnants of war and explosives resulting from occupation, or whose territories were the theatre of fighting between foreign countries. The Convention also does not establish a mechanism to assist affected countries suffering from mines placed by colonial States, or commit colonial States to removing, at their own expense, the mines they placed on the territories of other States.”[1]

Previously, in October 2011, two Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials informed the ICBL that there was support for joining the Mine Ban Treaty, but the matter must wait until the new government is established and for the legislative body to consider accession.[2] Libya’s signature of the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty on 9 July 2013 indicates that the government is ready to join international treaties.

On 7 December 2015, Libya voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 70/55 supporting universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. This was the third year that Libya had voted in favor of the pro-Mine Ban Treaty resolution, after consistently abstaining from the annual resolution since 1998. The change came after outreach by the ICBL, including Human Rights Watch (HRW).[3]

Prior to being removed from office in 2011, the government of Muammar Gaddafi showed interest in the Mine Ban Treaty but made no effort to join it; Libyan officials often criticized the treaty and called for it to be revised.[4] On 28 April 2011, the National Transitional Council (NTC), then the opposition authority in Libya, issued a statement formally pledging that “no forces under the command and control of the [NTC] will use antipersonnel or anti-vehicle landmines.” The statement also said that “any future Libyan government should relinquish landmines and join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.”[5]

Despite not joining the Mine Ban Treaty, Libya has participated as an observer in many of the treaty’s Meetings of States Parties as well as the first and third Review Conferences.[6] Libya attended but did not make any statements at the Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November-December 2015. It has also regularly attended intersessional Standing Committee meetings of the treaty in Geneva, but not in May 2016.

Libya is not a party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is also not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Production, trade, and stockpiling

Prior to 2011, Libya consistently stated that it had never produced or exported antipersonnel mines and that it no longer stockpiled the weapon.[7] Yet abundant evidence subsequently emerged showing how Libya accumulated a stockpile of hundreds of thousands of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines under Gaddafi’s leadership, and that his forces used tens of thousands of these mines during the 2011 conflict.

As the Gaddafi government progressively lost control of the country in 2011, massive weapon depots containing landmines and other munitions were abandoned by government forces and left unsecured.[8] Local and international mine action organizations have worked with Libyan authorities and the UN since mid-2011 to collect and destroy abandoned ordnance, but it is unclear how many landmines were removed by anti-government rebels, civilians, and others.

In April 2014, reports emerged showing the use in Syria of a notable Chinese-made Type 84 scatterable antivehicle mine that was first reported used in 2011 in Libya, but it was not possible to ascertain if the mines used in Syria were from the same stocks used in Libya.[9]

The post-Gaddafi government in Libya began to destroy the landmine stocks in early 2012, but no information is available on the numbers or types of landmines destroyed and it is still not clear if systematic stockpile destruction efforts are being undertaken as of October 2015.[10]


In September 2014, reports emerged alleging new use of antipersonnel mines at Tripoli International Airport, which saw fighting in July–August between the Zintan alliance of militia groups and forces of the Libya Dawn Alliance.[11] A HRW investigation found that antipersonnel mines were likely laid in 2014 and not earlier, but could not determine the party responsible for the use.[12] On 29 October, HRW spoke by telephone with the commander of the Misrata Revolutionaries engineering unit within the Libya Dawn Alliance, which had been responsible for clearing landmines and other unexploded ordnance in Tripoli since August. The commander said that on 24 August, the day of the airport takeover, his unit had discovered a mined area of the airport.[13] He said a pickup truck mounted with anti-aircraft weapons entered the “old airport area” and detonated a mine, killing one fighter from the Misrata Umm al-Maarek brigade, Mohamed Abubaker Ali, and wounding several others.

In September 2015, there was an allegation that forces of Ansar al-Sharia—an armed Salafist Islamist militia group—were responsible for a landmine incident near Benina district in Benghazi, but it was not possible to verify the circumstances of the incident or if an antipersonnel mine was responsible.[14]

In August 2016, an allegation that Islamic State (IS) militants laid landmines sometime prior to being forced out of Derna in eastern Libya in mid-2015. The Monitor is not in a position to verify the allegation.[15] According to media reports IS militants laid landmines and victim-activated explosive devices around Sirte.[16]

Previous use

HRW confirmed the use of five types of mines in six separate locations by pro-Gaddafi forces during the 2011 conflict, first in the east of the country, then in the Nafusa mountain range in the northwest, and finally around Tripoli and coastal towns in the west. This included the use of low-metal content antipersonnel mines that are particularly challenging for detection and clearance efforts, such as the Brazilian T-AB-1 mine.[17] Three types of mines were also found abandoned at three other locations.

Mine types identified in Libya during the 2011 conflict



Country of production

Location used/User




Used by government forces in Ajdabiya, Khusha, Misrata, and al-Qawalish (three separate locations)




Used by government forces in Ajdabiya, and al-Qawalis; abandoned stockpiles in Tripoli




Used by government forces in Misrata




Abandoned stockpiles in Benghazi



Former Czechoslovakia

Abandoned stockpiles in Benghazi

PRB-M3 and




Used by rebels in Ajdabiya; abandoned in storage in Benghazi




Abandoned stockpiles in Ajdabiya and Tripoli




Abandoned stockpiles in Tripoli


Prior to 2011, Libya last used antipersonnel mines during its 1980–1987 war with Chad. Libya is contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance from World War II, as well as from wars with Egypt (1977) and Chad (1980–1987). Minefields are said to exist in desert, port, and urban areas; however, no nationwide survey has ever been conducted. Previously, some facilities were protected by minefields, such as an ammunition storage area outside of Ajdabiya that HRW then confirmed was partially surrounded by a minefield marked solely by a deteriorating fence.[18]

[1] Explanation of Vote on UNGA Draft Resolution L.50, Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, General Assembly, Official Records, 70th Session: First Committee, 24th Meeting, New York, Tuesday, 4 November 2015,A/C.1/70/PV.24. In February 2012, the Mine Ban Treaty’s Special Envoy, Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan, discussed Libya’s Mine Ban Treaty accession with the interim prime minister, who Prince Mired described as “extremely forthcoming and interested” in the matter. Statement by Special Envoy on Universalization, Prince Mired of Jordan, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[2] ICBL meeting with El-Mahdi El-Maghreby, Director, International Organizations, and Salaheddin El Mesalati, Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Libya, in New York, 18 October 2011.

[3] See, for example, HRW, Letter to Ambassador Ibrahim O. Dabbashi of Libya, 8 October 2014.

[4] For example, in September 2010 Libya stated: “anti-personnel mines are a weapon that the vulnerable States use to defend their territories against invading forces. The powerful States do not even need to use them since they possess arsenals of advanced Weapons. In this framework, the [Mine Ban Treaty] should be amended, taking into account the interests of the small States. The legislators of this convention should have made the States concerned committed to compensate those affected by mines planted in their lands and to provide legal and political assurances for the protection of small States due to the lack of possession of neither defensive nor offensive weapons.” Statement by Musa Abdussalam Kousa, Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, UNGA General Debate, New York, 28 September 2010.

[5] HRW Press Release, “Libya: Rebels Pledge Not to Use Landmines,” 29 April 2011.

[6] It was absent from the Meetings of States Parties held in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, and the Second Review Conference in 2009.

[7] Interview with Col. Ali Alahrash, Ministry of Defense, Geneva, 16 March 2004.

[8] This included the 60-bunker Hight Razma facility near Benghazi, a 35-bunker facility near Ajdabiya, and a smaller facility near Tobruk. In September 2011, HRW visited in a Khamis Brigade base in the Salahadin neighborhood of Tripoli that included a farm compound holding approximately 15,000 antipersonnel mines and a nearby storage facility housing more than 100,000 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines. HRW, “Landmines in Libya: Technical Briefing Note,” 19 July 2011; and HRW, “Libya: Secure Unguarded Arms Depots,” 9 September 2011.

[9] Mark Hiznay, “Remotely Delivered Antivehicle Mines Spotted in Syria,” Monitor Blog, 25 April 2014. In Libya, the remotely delivered “parachute mines” were delivered by surface-fired 122mm Grad-type rockets into the port area of the city of Misrata by Gaddafi forces on 5 May 2011. The markings on the mines indicated a 2009 manufacture date. These mines are equipped with a sensitive magnetic-influence fuze, which also functions as an inherent anti-disturbance feature, as well as a self-destruct mechanism that can be set for a period of four hours to three days. These characteristics pose special problems as the mines sit on the ground and complicate clearance efforts. The magnetic-influence fuze explodes the mine when it detects a change in its immediate magnetic environment, such as a vehicle passing over it or a person approaching the mine who is wearing or carrying a sufficient amount of ferrous metal, like military equipment or a camera. Additionally, given the sensitivity of the fuze, any change in orientation or movement of the mine may cause the fuze to function.

[10] HRW, “Libya: Secure Unguarded Arms Depots,” 9 September 2011. In March 2012, HRW witnessed the destruction of Type-72SP antivehicle landmines.

[11] Video footage reportedly filmed in September at Tripoli International Airport by Alnabaa—a private Libyan satellite TV network—and by Al Jazeera shows the clearance of at least 20 T-AB-1 antipersonnel mines and at least one PRB M3 antivehicle mine. Reports by both TV networks alleged that the mines were laid by the Zintani-led forces, which controlled the airport from 2011 until August 2014.

[12] HRW, “Evidence of New Landmine Use in Tripoli,” 5 November 2014. The Zintan alliance of militia groups, a coalition of militias from the inland mountain town of Zintan, controlled Tripoli Airport from the end of the 2011 until August 24, when Libya Dawn Alliance of militias from the coastal city of Misrata seized control, after five weeks of intense fighting. At the time of fighting, a Zintani force known as the Airport Security Katiba was controlling Tripoli Airport and its vicinity.

[13] The commander informed HRW that his unit has found and cleared approximately 600 landmines since 24 August, mostly T-AB-1 antipersonnel mines, from the Tripoli International airport compound.

[14]Landmine kills five children in northeast Libya,” Anadolu News Agency, 10 September 2015.

[16] See, Lewis, A.,“Libya forces de-mine and clear Sirte after liberation from Isis militants,” The Independent, 11 August 2016; Sudarsan Raghavan, “Even with U.S. airstrikes, a struggle to oust ISIS from Libyan stronghold,” Washington Post, 7 August 2016; and “A Sirte girl undergoes a massive 17-hour operation for landmine injuries,” The Libya Observer, 29 May 2016.

[17] Brazil has declared in its Article 7 reports that production and exports of T-AB-1 antipersonnel mines ceased in 1989, even before Brazil joined the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997. There is no export record of the shipments because arms export records are not held for longer than 10 years. An internal investigation was opened into the origins and transfer of the T-AB-1 mines to Libya. HRW meeting with Brazilian delegation to intersessional Standing Committee meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 27 June 2011.

Mine Action

Last updated: 25 November 2016

Contaminated by: landmines (extent unknown), cluster munition remnants (extent unknown), and other unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Not a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty or the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Recommendations for action

  • Libya should initiate survey and clearance of mines as soon as possible and take other measures to protect civilians.
  • Contamination data and land release results should be recorded in the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA).
  • Libya should enact mine action legislation as soon as possible.

The extent of contamination by landmines, cluster munition remnants, and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) is not known. No land release activities were conducted in 2015 due to ongoing conflict, and instead effort was focused on capacity-building and training of national actors. In 2016, non-technical survey (NTS) of UXO-contaminated areas was conducted by national operators, with the support of international operators. Informal clearance has also reportedly been conducted by volunteer army engineers and local organizations.

Mine Contamination

Libya is contaminated with mines but no 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. Its border with Tunisia is also affected. During Colonel Muammur Qaddafi’s four decades in power, mines were emplaced around a number of locations, including military facilities and key infrastructure.[1]

Mines were used by both sides in the 2011 conflict leading to Colonel Qaddafi’s overthrow. The only confirmed instance of landmine use by rebels occurred in Ajdabiya, but other locations where pro-government elements laid mines included Brega, Khusha, Misrata, and the Nafusa Mountains.[2] In 2016, a suspected minefield was identified in Tawargha during NTS, and further survey is required to confirm the hazard.[3] The escalation of conflict in Libya in 2014 brought new reports of mine use by armed groups fighting around Tripoli airport.[4] (See Mine Ban Policy profile for further details).

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 over the port city of Misrata and Belgian PRB-M3 and PRB-M3A1 antivehicle mines, as well as minimum-metal mines. Sea mines were also used by government forces in the port of Misrata.[5]

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. In 2012, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) reported tackling Russian PTAB cluster bombs,[6] while international media reported the presence of a fourth type of cluster munition that has remained unidentified.[7] 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, fighting between Libya’s rival governments saw reported use of cluster munitions, including RBK-250 PTAB-2.5M bombs, in attacks on Bin Jawad near the port of Es-Sidr in February, and in the vicinity of Sirte in March. The Libyan air force, controlled by the internationally recognized government of the time, had bombed both locations but denied using cluster bombs.[8] (See Cluster Munition Ban profile for further details.)

The impact of cluster munition contamination is unknown.

Other ERW

As of May 2016, ongoing conflict was reported to have resulted in significant ERW contamination in numerous cities across the whole of Libya. According to UNMAS, it has affected public infrastructure such as schools, universities, and hospitals. In addition, the new ERW threat is exacerbated by the minefields and ERW left behind from previous conflicts. The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Libya is estimated to be over 435,000 by the UNHCR. UNMAS states that there is no prospect of safe return for these IDPs before technical and non-technical surveying, spot-tasking, and/or battle area clearance are carried out.[9]

A multi-sector needs assessment conducted in mid-2015 and updated in February 2016 found that the presence of landmines and UXO was widely reported. Forty eight percent of respondents in the east reported the presence of landmines and UXO in their community between June 2015 and February 2016, compared with 25% of respondents in the south, and 10% of respondents in the west. This was a decrease in the number of respondents reporting the presence of landmines and UXO in mid-2015, but the reason for the change was not provided. [10]

In September 2015, national NGO Free Fields Foundation (3F) conducted a general assessment of the humanitarian situation in Benghazi. It reportedly identified large areas of highly populated areas with ERW contamination.[11]

Program Management

The Libyan Mine Action Center (LibMAC) was mandated by the Minister of Defense to coordinate mine action in December 2011. As of August 2016, it was operating under the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Its headquarters are based 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 2016, a regional Operations Manager was appointed for the east.[12]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ National Programme for Demining and Rehabilitation of Lands was set up in 2004 and revived by the ministry after the change of regime.[13] However, there were no reports of its activities in 2015 and 2016.

The deteriorating security situation resulted in the withdrawal of UNMAS and international mine action operators from Libya in mid-2014. UNMAS has been operating from Tunis since November 2014, from where it provides support to humanitarian mine action in Libya.[14]

In 2015, UNMAS and mine action operators focused their efforts on capacity-building and training of national actors, as ongoing conflict prevented the implementation of survey and clearance operations.[15] In 2015, UNMAS and its international partners provided training to LibMAC, the National Safety Authority, army engineers, police, and national NGOs. The training courses included quality assurance/quality control, NTS, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), and risk education.[16]

Monthly coordination meetings for mine action actors are held in Tunis.[17]


The Ministry of Interior’s National Safety Authority (also known as Civil Protection) is mandated to conduct EOD and counter-improvised explosive device (IED) activities in civilian areas.[18]

In 2015, Danish Church Aid (DCA), Danish Demining Group (DDG) and Handicap International (HI) continued to work in Libya, managing their programs remotely from Tunis. They focused on the capacity development of national partners, primarily through training courses held outside Libya.[19] 3F and DDG have established a formal partnership.[20] DCA conducted training and capacity-building to the National Safety Authority (NSA, also known as the Civil Defense), army engineers, police, and LibMAC in explosive ordnance awareness and NTS.[21]

National NGOs that received mine action training in 2015 from international organizations were 3F, World Without War (3W)—a Misrata based NGO, No Mines No War Remnants Foundation, and Assalama. However, they were not operational in 2015.[22]

HI, DDG, and 3F received accreditation to conduct NTS and mine risk education (MRE) from LibMAC in 2015 and 2016.[23]

Land Release

No land release activities (survey or clearance) were conducted in 2015.[24]

Progress in 2016

NTS was conducted in 2016, although little data is available. LibMAC conducted technical survey in Sirte and the surrounding areas following their liberation from the non-state armed group (NSAG) Islamic State.[25] The NSA conducted NTS in Benghazi.[26] HI’s national partners conducted NTS in Gualish and Tripoli Airport.[27] DDG and 3F reported that they conducted NTS of 443,544,257.36m2 in various locations across Libya in 2016. These areas were all contaminated by UXO, and did not contain landmines or cluster munition remnants.[28] The NGOs submitted reports to LibMAC, but they had not been approved for IMSMA entry.[29]

In 2016, a small group of army engineers reportedly conducted technical survey and clearance on a voluntary basis in Azizeh, Tripoli. They did not provide operation reports to LibMAC. Informal clearance activities were also reported to be conducted by an NGO in Bani Walid in 2016, but no details were available.[30]

In 2016, UNMAS continued to provide training and capacity-building support, including NTS for operations in eastern Libya (Benghazi). LibMAC received IMSMA technical support from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and UNMAS in 2016.[31] DCA delivered training in EOD to the Libyan authorities.[32]


The Monitor gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review supported and published by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), which conducted mine action research in 2016 and shared it with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.

[1] Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Landmines in Libya: Technical Briefing Note,” 19 July 2011.

[2] Ibid.; and email from Jenny Reeves, Weapons Contamination Coordinator, ICRC, Tripoli, 22 February 2012.

[3] Email from Dusan Milovic, Programme Officer, Danish Demining Group (DDG), 20 November 2016.

[4] HRW, “Libya: New evidence of landmine use,” 5 November 2014.

[5] Email from Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Officer, Joint Mine Action Coordination Team (JMACT) UNMAS, Tripoli, 20 March 2012; Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Landmines in Libya: Technical Briefing Note,” 19 July 2011; Colin King, “Landmines in Libya,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 15.3, Fall 2011; and C. J. Chivers, “Land Mines Descend on Misrata’s Port, Endangering Libyan City’s Supply Route,” New York Times, 6 May 2011.

[6] Email from Nina Seecharan, Desk Officer for Iraq, Lebanon, and Libya, MAG, 5 March 2012.

[7] C. J. Chivers, “Name the Cluster Bomb, an Update,” New York Times, 2 February 2012.

[8] HRW, “Libya: Evidence of new cluster bomb use,” 15 March 2015.

[9] UNMAS, “Programmes: Libya,” undated.

[10] REACH, “Libya Multi-Sector Needs Assessment,” June–July 2015, p.18, and update, February 2016, p. 39. REACH is a joint initiative of two international NGOs and the UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT).

[11] “General Report on the Humanitarian Situation in the City of Benghazi,” 3F, September 2015.

[12] Skype interview with Ezzedine Ata Alia, Administration Manager, LibMAC, 9 August 2016.

[13] Email from Diek Engelbrecht, UNMAS Programme Manager, Libya, 20 July 2013.

[14] UNMAS, “Programmes: Libya,” undated.

[15] Skype interview with Ezzedine Ata Alia, LibMAC, 9 August 2016.

[16] Email from Caitlin Longden, Junior Programme Officer, UNMAS, 9 August 2016.

[17] Skype interview with Ezzedine Ata Alia, LibMAC, 9 August 2016.

[18] Email from Diek Engelbrecht, UNMAS, Libya, 20 July 2013.

[19] Skype interview with Ezzedine Ata Alia, LibMAC, 9 August 2016.

[20] Email from Caitlin Longden, Junior Programme Officer, UNMAS, 9 August 2016.

[21] Email from Maria Berwald Madsen, Programme Manager, DCA, 11 August 2016.

[22] Skype interview with Ezzedine Ata Alia, LibMAC, 9 August 2016; and email from Caitlin Longden, UNMAS, 9 August 2016.

[23] Email from Ezzedine Ata Alia, LibMAC, 14 November 2016.

[24] Skype interview with Ezzedine Ata Alia, LibMAC, 9 August 2016.

[25] “Report on the situation in the city of Sirte and its suburbs,” LibMAC, 23 June 2016.

[26] Email from Ezzedine Ata Alia, LibMAC, 14 November 2016.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Email from Dusan Milovic, Programme Officer, DDG, 20 November 2016. Locations included Al Butnan, Al Jifarah, Al Jufrah, Al Wahat, Benghazi, Jabal Nafusa, Misratah, Sabah, Surt, and Tripoli.

[29] Skype interview with Abdullatif Hisham, IMSMA Manager, 9 August 2016.

[30] Skype interview with Ezzedine Ata Alia, LibMAC, 9 August 2016.

[31] Skype interview with Abdullatif Hisham, IMSMA Manager, 9 August 2016; and email from Caitlin Longden, UNMAS, 9 August 2016.

[32] Email from Maria Berwald Madsen, DCA, 11 August 2016.

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 26 October 2016

In 2015, Libya received US$6.8 million in international assistance from five donors.[1] The largest contributions were provided by the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), with a combined total of $6.2 million, representing 90% of total international assistance.

During 2014, all international demining operators as well as the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) had to withdraw from the country due to the deteriorating security situation. In January 2015, UNMAS estimated that since the escalation of violence in July 2014, an additional $30 million was required to address humanitarian mine action needs in Libya.[2]

International contributions: 2015[3]




Amount ($)


Clearance and risk education








Risk education




Risk education












In 2011–2013, international assistance averaged almost $19 million per year; funding of just $6.9 million in 2014 represents a 60% decrease from the previous year.

Summary of international contribution: 2011–2015[4]


Amount ($)














[1] Germany, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 4 April 2016; Netherlands, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2016; Switzerland, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 28 April 2016; and emails from Frank Meeussen, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Export Control, European External Action Service, 30 September 2016; and from Katherine Baker, Foreign Affairs Officer, Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State, 12 September 2016.

[2] UNMAS, “Programmes: Libya,” January 2015.

[3] Average exchange rate for 2015: €1=US$1.1096; CHF0.9628=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2016.

[4] See previous Monitor reports. 

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 30 August 2016

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2015

Unknown, many thousands

Casualties in 2015

1,004 (2014: 10)

2015 casualties by outcome

40 killed; 964 injured (2014: 1 killed; 9 injured)

2015 casualties by device type

935 explosive remnants of war (ERW); 52 unspecified mine; 3 victim-activated IED; 14 unknown device types


In 2015, 1,004 mine/ERW casualties were identified for the State of Libya by the Libyan Mine Action Center (LibMAC) and through Monitor media scanning; an additional 14 casualties of unknown device type were also recorded. Age, gender and civilian status were not recorded for the majority of the reported casualties; of the 25 whose status was recorded 15 were civilians and 10 were security forces. Seven child casualties were recorded. The vast majority of the ERW casualties in the LibMAC data were recorded by Handicap International (HI) at two hospitals in Tripoli.[1] HI noted that most hospitals do not have reliable and updated databases so casualty numbers were likely underreported.[2] The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) identified two suspected antivehicle mine incidents causing five casualties, but the devices involved were not confirmed and the casualties may be included among the casualties of unspecified mine types.[3]

The 1,004 mine/ERW casualties reported in Libya in 2015 is significant increase over 2014 when only 10 mine/ERW casualties were reported for Libya. However, this large variance in annual statistics is not representative.  Due to the security situation many operators were forced to leave Libya; therefore mine/ERW casualties in 2014 went largely unrecorded. In addition, some casualty data was lost. Limited data was available in 2014 and was known to be incomplete.[4] It is likely that many more casualties occurred.

The 1,004 mine/ERW casualties identified in 2015 marks the highest annual casualty total recorded for Libya in Monitor reporting. The previous highest annual total was recorded in 2011 when 222 mine/ERW casualties were identified.

The total number of casualties over time in Libya is not known as many estimates predate the 2011 conflict. The Libyan Demining Association (LDA) and the Libyan Civil Defense Department had registered 1,852 mine casualties by the end of 2006.[5] Previous estimates were approximately 12,000, with the Libyan police reporting 11,845 casualties between 1940 and 1995 (6,749 killed; 5,096 injured) and the Libyan Jihad Center for Historical Studies reporting 12,258 (3,874 killed; 8,384 injured) between 1952 and 1975.[6]

Cluster munition casualties

The total number of cluster munition casualties in Libya is not known. No casualties from unexploded submunitions or cluster munition attacks were reported in 2015. It is possible that some cluster munition casualties were reported as ERW casualties, because it was not possible to distinguish the type of device that caused these ERW casualties.

One casualty from cluster submunitions was identified in 2014. There was no available information on casualties during cluster munition attacks that occurred in 2011. Media reports identified four casualties from unexploded submunitions between April and June 2011: three in Ajdabiya in the Al Wahat district and one in Misrata.[7] However, it was not possible to distinguish the devices that caused these casualties from other types of ERW. Two of the four reported submunition casualties, boys 10- and 15-years-old injured in Ajdabiya, were also later reported to have been injured by a hand grenade.[8] The explosive device type of the remaining two casualties could not be confirmed and were recorded as ERW casualties by LibMAC.[9]

Victim Assistance

Libya is responsible for survivors of landmines and other types of ERW. The total number of survivors is unknown. Outdated estimates ranged from 5,000 to 8,000 survivors through 1995.[10]

Victim assistance since 2009[11]

All victim assistance, especially emergency and ongoing medical care, was disrupted by the armed conflict that started in February 2011. The availability of medical care decreased in 2011 as thousands of foreign medical professionals working in Libya returned to their countries of origin, and power cuts, lack of funding, and a lack of medical supplies prevented the remaining medical professionals from responding to the increased demand for emergency care from mine/ERW survivors and other victims of the conflict.[12] International organizations responded to this disruption and assisted hospitals to resume care provided to the increasing numbers of new mine/ERW survivors. In August 2011, the Benghazi Rehabilitation Center resumed production of prosthetics and orthotics.[13]

By 2013, there were three prosthetics and orthotics service providers and two rehabilitation centers in the country. In 2013, the University of Misrata worked to set up, within the compound of the University hospital, a small physical rehabilitation center for disabled persons in the area, with the support of the ICRC.[14] Other organizations limited some activities or withdrew from the country.

No victim assistance coordination or planning was possible; national and international efforts remained focused on providing immediate relief to the large numbers of war-wounded, including mine/ERW survivors, and rebuilding the health sector.

Victim assistance in 2015

Assessing victim assistance needs

Handicap International carried out a health assessment in 2015 that surveyed 12 medical facilities in Tripoli, Gharyan, and Worshefana. The assessment documented casualties and reported on available health services. It did not specifically assess the needs of mine/ERW causalities.[15]

Victim assistance coordination

Government coordinating body/focal point

Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Affairs, and Ministry of Culture and Civil Society (MCCS)

Coordinating mechanism





On 1 December 2011, the LibMAC was established within the Ministry of Defense to manage all mine action activities in the country.[16] Responsibility for victim assistance lay with the Ministry of Health and the MCCS.[17] The Ministry of Social Affairs was primarily responsible for physical rehabilitation in Libya, although the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Martyrs, Missing and War Wounded were also active in the field of physical rehabilitation.[18] There was no national plan for victim assistance.

In 2015 Libya reported that an integrated social and economic policy in accordance with an integrated national plan that addressed the needs of persons with disabilities was necessary. The Ministry of Social Affairs is responsible for supervising and monitoring the operation of social care facilities, including centers and institutions for the education and training of persons with disabilities. The Ministry is also responsible for ensuring that those facilities and institutions work together to provide integrated services. The following specialized bodies coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs are responsible for the care of persons with disabilities:

  • The General Authority for the Social Security Fund
  • The Centre for Training Persons with Disabilities, Benghazi
  • The Centre for Training Persons with Disabilities, Janzur
  • The Swani Centre for Training Persons with Disabilities
  • The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities[19]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[20]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Changes in quality/coverage of service in 2015

Ministry of Social Affairs


Managed Benghazi Rehabilitation Center

Reduced due to security situation

Ministry of Health


Managed Janzour Rehabilitation Centre in Tripoli

Basic rehabilitation services reduced due to security situation

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)

International NGO

Emergency medical care, support to medical system and strengthening health care

Ongoing support to functioning medical centers, training of medical personnel, emergency care, security situation reduced services

International Medical Corps (IMC)

International NGO

Primary healthcare, psychological support and mental healthcare, strengthening physical rehabilitation



International Organization

War surgery training, evacuation of mine/ERW survivors and other war wounded, strengthening physical rehabilitation; providing emergency and first-level care training for members of the ICRC National Society, emergency service and hospital staff, and civil defense personnel

Ongoing though impacted by security situation


Emergency and ongoing medical care

In 2015, the ongoing violence in Libya reduced national capacity to provide emergency and ongoing medical care to mine/ERW victims and other war-injured persons. Many hospitals were closed or suffering from a lack of medicines, equipment, and experienced medical staff.[21]

Based on a “Rapid Assessment of Health Structures in Western Libya” report published in 2016, HI found that at least 40% of the health system was non-functional. Libya has both public and private facilities providing emergency and ongoing medical care. Overcrowding, obsolete equipment, lack of medical staff and supplies, damaged facilities, and insecurity limit the ability of the health sector to meet the needs of patients including mine/ERW survivors. Inaccessible public buildings also hindered access to healthcare for survivors and other persons with disabilities The majority of mine/ERW casualties were referred to the accidents and emergency section of Abu Salim Hospital in Tripoli in 2015. Tripoli Central Hospital reported receiving 600 war-injured persons including mine/ERW casualties.[22] In July 2015, only three of the seven major hospitals in Benghazi were functioning.[23]

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) supplied hospitals with medicines and trained medical staff and worked to increase medical care in eastern Libya near the front lines and in Al-Jalah hospital in Benghazi. In western Libya, MSF provided emergency care and surgical training and provided medication.[24]

Following escalated violence in the country in 2014, wounded people received treatment from 21 hospitals and 20 other facilities including Libyan Red Crescent branches and primary healthcare centers with medical supplies from the ICRC. The ICRC organized trainings on trauma management and treatment of weapons wounds for 76 surgeons, emergency-room doctors, and other medical professionals from 20 hospitals.[25] Medical conditions were under severe strain in Benghazi in 2015, with medical supplies blocked or destroyed by fighting. The Libyan Red Crescent attempted to evacuate trapped civilians, including war-injured persons, in February and March 2015, but parties to the conflict refused.[26]

Physical rehabilitation, including prosthetics

In Libya, ICRC operations were “challenged by the increasingly insecure working environment and renewed armed fighting, compounded by the existence of a general political and security vacuum.”[27] Physical rehabilitation projects suffered due to the security situation.[28]

The health system lacked capacity in physiotherapy, prosthetics and orthotics. Mobility aids provided were of low quality and many centers lacked the equipment and materials necessary to provide services. The Swani rehabilitation center, located some 30 minutes from Tripoli, was the only center providing comprehensive rehabilitation in Libya. However, it is under-utilized due to its distance from Tripoli and other major towns in the Western Mountains. The distance and the poor security situation make it especially difficult for women to access the center.[29] 

Three-quarters of the 13 health facilities surveyed by HI in and around Tripoli reported having physiotherapy services. However, only the University of Misrata had functioning prosthetic and orthotic services.[30]

After ceasing direct assistance to the Benghazi Rehabilitation Center in 2012,[31] in 2014, a building for an orthopedic workshop was constructed within the compound of Misrata University and two ICRC specialists were assigned to support the opening of the center.[32] The security situation in 2014 forced the ICRC to suspend operations at the university.[33] In 2015, the university and the ICRC resumed discussion on the project.[34]

Economic inclusion

There was no information available on economic inclusion initiatives for mine/ERW survivors in 2015.

Psychological support

There is no official budget for mental health care. Health professionals identified psychosocial support as a priority for capacity building. Strong stigma toward mental illness and treatment prevented some war-injured persons from accessing psychosocial support and mental health care.[35]

Laws and policies

Law No. 5 of 1987, on persons with disabilities, remained in effect in 2015.  The law provides for persons with disabilities rights to shelter; subsidized housing services; reimbursable assistive equipment; education; therapy or rehabilitation; suitable work for those who have received rehabilitation; follow-up for those who are working; tax relief for the self-employed; access to facilities for the use of public transport; customs exemptions for items that they must import because of their disabilities; and facilitated access to public spaces.[36]

The 2011 Constitutional Declaration addresses the rights of persons with disabilities and requires the state to provide monetary and other types of social assistance, but does not explicitly prohibit discrimination. In 2015, the government did not effectively enforce these provisions. Few public buildings were accessible to persons with disabilities, resulting in restricted access to employment, education, and healthcare.[37] The draft constitution of April 2016 includes a specific article (Article 69) on the rights of persons with disabilities. The article commits Libya to guaranteeing the health, social, educational, economic, political, sports and entertainment rights of persons with disability on an equal basis with others and to make facilities accessible.[38]

Article 1 of Law 4 of 2013, related to persons with disabilities “from the liberation battle,” created a new category of persons with disability for those who sustained permanent impairments while fighting for the 2011 uprising and against the previous regime and also for those persons who sustained injuries as civilians from attacks by that regime. This new category received more benefits as compared to other persons with disabilities. The NGO Lawyers for Justice in Libya noted that the disparity “highlights inequality in the treatment of people with disabilities as well as discriminating between them on the basis of political association.”[39]

Libya signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 1 May 2008. In 2015, on the occasion of Libya’s human rights Universal Periodic Review, it was reported that persons with disabilities in Libya had experienced “little to no progress in relation to their rights and treatment” since the previous review. Libya has taken few practical steps to integrate persons with disabilities into society, to improve education materials, or to adopt measures to reduce costs and thereby make transportation or education more affordable for persons with disabilities.[40]

[1] Monitor analysis of casualty data provided by Abdullatif H.M. Abujarida, IMSMA Manager, LibMAC, 23 May 2016 and Monitor media scanning for 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015.

[2] Identification of the cause of injury was carried out by the hospitals and some casualties recorded as caused by mines/ERW may have been casualties of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Email from Anne Barthes, Handicap International (HI), 26 May 2016. Not enough detail was available to classify explosive devices as either victim- or command-detonated IEDs in LibMAC casualty data. An additional 340 IED casualties were recorded in the LibMAC data including 62 casualties of emplaced IEDs with the remainder caused by person-detonated (suicide bombers) and vehicle-borne (car/truck bombs) IEDs. These casualties were not included in the Monitor total of mine/ERW casualties for 2015. Emails from Abdullatif H.M. Abujarida, IMSMA Manager, LibMAC, 23 May 2016 and 30 May 2016.

[3] Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), “Anti-Vehicle Mine Incidents Map”; and casualty data provided by email from Ursign Hofmann, Policy Advisor, GICHD, 11 July 2016.

[4] See, for example, “Libya insecurity forces aid workers to leave,” The Guardian, 10 August 2014; email from Catherine Smith, HI, 31 March 2015. Monitor analysis of casualty data provided by Bridget Forster, Senior Programme Officer, UNMAS, 17 March 2015.

[5] Prior to February 2011, the LDA had been part of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (GICDF) and was known as the Anti-Mines Association.

[6] Ahmed Besharah, “World War II mines planted in Libya and its socio-economic impact,” Libyan Jihad Center for Historical Studies, Tripoli, 1995, p. 153.

[7] UNICEF, “Libya: Protecting children from unexploded ordnance,” Misrata, 6 June 2011; Ruth Sherlock, “Unlucky camel finds Libya’s largest minefield,” Al Jazeera, 28 June 2011; email from James Wheeler, Photographer, 10 August 2011; and UNICEF, “UNICEF Situation Report # 19 - Sub-regional Libya crisis,” 29 June 2011.

[8] UNICEF, “Libya: Protecting children from unexploded ordnance,” Misrata, 6 June 2011.

[9] Casualty data provided via emails from Abdulmonem Alaiwan, LibMAC, 17 June 2012; and from Jennifer Reeves, ICRC, 16 July 2012.

[10] Ahmed Besharah, “World War II mines planted in Libya and its socio-economic impact,” Libyan Jihad Center for Historical Studies, Tripoli, 1995, p. 153.

[11] See previous Libya country profiles available on the Monitor website.

[12]Overstretched health service needs sustained support,” IRIN News (Benghazi), 1 September 2011; and WHO, “Libya Crisis Update,” August 2011.

[13] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, September 2014.

[14] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, September 2014; and ICRC, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, May 2014, pp. 165 and 167.

[15] Email from Anne Barths, Handicap International Libya, 26 May 2016.

[16] UNMAS, “Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,” undated.

[17] Email from Abdulmonem Alaiwan, LibMAC, 17 June 2012.

[18] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, September 2014.

[19] Libya, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 16/21, 5 May 2015, A/HRC/WG.6/22/LBY/1, p.15.

[20] Following the start of conflict in February 2011, numerous international organizations began providing humanitarian relief to the Libyan population. The organizations listed here are those whose response included a focus on the care and rehabilitation of injuries from explosive weapons such as mines and ERW. Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), “International Activity Report 2013 – Libya,” 31 December 2013; MSF, “Libya: The challenge of medical aid,”1 July 2015; MSF, “Libya: 2014 Activity Report,” undated; MSF, “Libya: Health system in state of hidden crisis,” 17 March 2016; International Medical Corps (IMC), “Libya: ongoing response,” undated; Human Study e.V., “Where we work: Libya,” undated; ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, pp. 165–167; and ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, September 2014.

[22] HI, “Rapid Assessment of Health Structures in Western Libya,” June 2016, pp.4-14 and 26.

[23] MSF, “Libya: The challenge of medical aid,” 1 July 2015.

[24] Ibid.

[25] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, 2016, p. 165.

[26] HRW, “Libya: Civilians Trapped in Benghazi,” 25 May 2015.

[27] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, 2015, p. 39.

[28] ICRC, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, May 2015, p. 166.

[29] HI, “Rapid Assessment of Health Structures in Western Libya,” June 2016, p. 18.

[30] Ibid., p. 15 and 20.

[31] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, pp. 25 and 37.

[32] ICRC PRP, “Annual Report 2013,” Geneva, September 2014.

[33] ICRC, “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, May 2015, p. 166.

[34] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, 2016, p. 165.

[35] HI, “Rapid Assessment of Health Structures in Western Libya,” June 2016, pp. 12-13.

[36] Libya, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 5 of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 16/21, 5 May 2015, A/HRC/WG.6/22/LBY/1, p. 15.

[37] United States Department of State, “2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Libya,” Washington, DC, 13 April 2016.

[38] HI, “Rapid Assessment of Health Structures in Western Libya,” June 2016, p. 15; Constitution Drafting Assembly “Draft Libyan Constitution,” April 2016.

[40] Ibid.