Geneva and Tripoli, 1 June 2020 — The President of the landmark anti-landmine treaty, which prohibits the use of anti-personnel mines has expressed concern following report of use of these weapons in Libya, and called for measures to protect lives of innocent civilians. The comments follow reports including by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), of anti-personnel mines of an improvised nature left in the Ain Zara and Salahuddin areas of Tripoli, which have maimed or killed civilians returning home for the Eid holiday.
“Reports on the use of anti-personnel mines of an improvised nature targeting civilians should be of concern not only to members of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, but to the entire international community.
For the past two decades the overwhelming majority of States have understood the gravity of using, producing, stockpiling and transferring of these cruel weapons accepting to be bound by an international agreement to forsake them,” said H.E. Osman Abufatima Adam Mohammed, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Sudan to the UN in Geneva, who presides over the work of the Convention.
“We demand that the norm established by the treaty be respected and that all measures be put in place to safeguard the health and lives of innocent civilians caught in conflict anywhere in the world. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of these weapons by any actor and call for an immediate halt to the use of anti-personnel mines,” said the Ambassador. “While Libya is not yet party to our treaty, as a result of these incidents, emergency measures must be taken to prevent new injuries including by providing mine risk education and reduction activities and ensuring the clearance of these devices as a matter of priority. We call on the international community to join forces to support these efforts to avoid further suffering.”
Editorial note: The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention also known as the Ottawa Convention was adopted in 1997 and entered into force on 1 March 1999. There are 164 States Parties representing more than 80% of the countries in the world; together these States have destroyed almost 53 million stockpiled anti-personnel mines and released millions of square meters of land that were once contaminated. The Convention was the first multilateral treaty to take into consideration the rights of a weapon’s victims. Libya has participated in a number of Convention meetings as an Observer.