The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Tuesday warned of the threat posed by explosive ordnances left by armed conflicts in the North African country.
“Despite strong efforts from mine action partners over the past decade, more than 15 million square meters(15 square km)are still contaminated with explosive ordnances across Libya,” the UNSMIL said in a statement on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
The statement said that 19 people, including 14 children, were killed last year by explosive remnants of war in Libya.
The UN mission said that the indiscriminate use of weapons in civilian areas during the recent conflicts means even urban areas are littered with explosive remnants of war.
Those remnants obstruct safe access to education, healthcare and development, and continue to injure or kill people long after the fighting ceased, posing a daily threat to life and livelihoods, the statement said.
“In 2022, international mine action partners removed 27,400 explosive ordnances in Tripoli, Misurata, Benghazi and Sirte — but there is more to do. We need to scale up efforts to enable Libya towards a safer future without explosive hazards,” it said.
Ever since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has been plagued by armed conflicts, chaos and political instability.