14 September 2011
ICBL urges the NTC to secure landmines stocks in Libya
(Geneva, 14 September 2011) The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is calling on the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and its allies to immediately secure the weapons stocks that are increasingly being discovered as pro-Gaddafi forces retreat, preventing further looting of these weapons, including large numbers of landmines.
“The NTC has already shown a commitment to ensure that landmines are not used by its forces in this conflict. Today we urge the NTC to take immediate action to prevent these weapons from getting into the wrong hands and causing devastation and harm in Libya or anywhere else”, said Kasia Derlicka, ICBL Director. In April 2011 the NTC formally pledged not to use antipersonnel and antivehicle landmines, to destroy all landmines in its possession, and to cooperate in the provision of mine clearance, risk education, and victim assistance. It also said that the future government of Libya should join the Mine Ban Treaty.
Human Rights Watch and others have discovered large weapons stores in Tripoli that remained unguarded and unsecured, even two weeks after the city fell to rebel forces. On 9 September, HRW reported that it had encountered an unsecured stock of more than 100,000 antivehicle mines in one location and a stock of 15,000 antipersonnel mines in another. Earlier in the year Human Rights Watch and others documented that pro-Gaddafi forces used hundreds of landmines, often close to towns or residential areas. "The NTC should also make every effort to recover the looted landmines and destroy them as soon as possible," said Derlicka.
To read the ICBL's previous responses to news that landmines have been used during the recent conflict in Libya, and our Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.