Operations in Sirte remains suspended and Sirte -Based partners are examining the possibility of operations in other regions

Report
from Joint Mine Action Coordination Team Libya
Published on 02 Jul 2012

After the request, two weeks ago, from the Higher Security Council (HSC) of Sirte for international NGO’s to evacuate from the town, all the operations in Sirte have been suspended. However, during the reporting period, Sirte-based international NGOs accompanied LMAC to the town of Waddan and Houn in Al-Jufra region and several sites were visited.

In addition to clearance operations and Risk Education seesions, one JMACT partner is preparing education and communication materials on Small Arms and Light Weapons, and establishing a data collection procedure.

During this week, UNMAS Chief of Operations and the UNMAS Ammunition Management Officer visited Misrata to view the area marked out for the construction of a new central storage facility for the ammunition and heavy weapons of the Misrata Eastern Katibas.

Libya's landmine problem is one that dates back to the Second World War, but the bigger threat for Libyans today is not stepping on a landmine. Instead, it is Unexploded Ordnance and Explosive Remnants of War and the threat posed from tampering; finding a small round or even a rocket and picking it up to move it or just to see what it is. Sadly, children are amongst the most prevalent victims as they are drawn to pick up items new to them through inherent natural curiosity without knowing the dangers they present.

That is why the work of UNMAS and its partners not only expands mine action to include UXO, but also reaches into the realms of weapons and ammunition management, and Small arms and Light Weapons awareness. Security needs a holistic viewpoint: the more people know about the risk that weapons pose, and the more that can be stored in secure and up-to-standard facilities, the safer everyone will be.

FROM MINE ACTION PARTNERS

Handicap International
Small Arms and Light Weapons Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Materials have started !
Due to the continued security situation in Sirte, all operational staff remain away from the town. Between 25-28 June, Sirte-based international NGOs visited Al-jufra area for an assessment of possible operations. An assessment report on this area is currently being written.

On Sunday 24th June, a bulk demolition was carried out at Dafnia (located at the west of Misrata) Central Demolition Site (CDS). A film crew from Libyan television were there to interview Handicap International staff as well as to film the demolition. The demolition was a success. All Mine Action NGOs in Misrata, including the HI team, cleared access routes to the new CDS at Al Karaim area which should be operational next week. Thirteen pasture/farm areas, two government buildings and two industrial areas were cleared of ERW this week.

The Risk Education/Community Liaison (RE/CL) teams continued their activities in Misrata. 8 direct Risk Education sessions were given to the students in schools and mosques, and the team also educated the population via Community Liaison officers around the city. HI RE in Misrata is funded by UNICEF and carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the national focal point. HI also attended the yearly Scout Conference where activities from the 2011-12 period were presented, including the activities that were done in cooperation with HI in Misrata. In the conference HI distributed 40 hotline cards and were honoured to receive an award from the scouts for our work. More dangerous items continued to be reported in Misrata area though the hotline number and from the RE/CL teams. During the week teams responded to all calls marked and reported ten more Dangerous Areas. All operations in Sirte were suspended for security/political reasons during the reporting period.

Activities on Small Arms and Light Weapons included the collection of data on 50 gunshot victims from Abu Salim Hospital and the Tripoli Medical Centre. In addition to the above mentioned data, earlier statistics on gunshot injuries and deaths from 2011 to the present day were collected. HI arranged a briefing for medical staff on Small Arms Light Weapons and data collection in Tripoli Medical Centre for July 2nd. HI is also working with Libyan Youth Centre for public awareness about SALW, during this week. HI also had meetings with the Libyan Youth Centre to discuss collaboration with respect to the preparation of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials.

DCA /ACT Alliance
DCA carries out four demolitions in Dafniya area, and clearance in the west of Dafniya police station is continuing !
DCA carried out demolitions at Central Demolition Sites (CDS) located on the north and south of the main road around the Dafniya Police Station. These demolitions were completed successfully with the cooperation of the checkpoint Police closing the road (right, shows a Community Liaison Officer briefing staff acting as sentries when the road was closed for safe demolition). The teams completed four demolitions; two in the south destroying a rocket and a fusing system, and two in the north clearing most of the ERW found to date.

One of the team is also working with HI for the demolition. The team pulled all the items found in the field to the west of the Police Station into four demolition pits as these items were not able to be transported safely to the Dafniya CDS sites . The teams continue searching the area West of the Police station between the 500m and 1km markers which is considered the end of the dangerous zone in this direction. Also the DCA Senior Technical Advisor and GIS specialist visited Dafniya to prepare their completion report for this 500m-1km boundary and had meetings with the UNMAS IMSMA officer.

St Barbara Foundation
SBF teams continue their operation in Mitiga Airport, clearing 700m² of land and removing 215 Anti-Personal Mines !

The Saint Barbara Foundation with their local partner, the AMAN Foundation, continued their operations at Mitiga Airport and Ghod Romman. During this week the teams cleared 5,700m²of land and removed 765 ERW at both sites.

At the Minefield in Mitiga Airport the teams cleared 700m² of land and removed 215 Anti-Personal Mines.

At Ghod Roman, which is a popular place for picnics during the summer season, the team cleared an area of 5,000m²and removed 550 ERW during the past week.

MAG
MAG teams resume operations in Zintan with teams clearing 112 UXOs around the Ammunition Storage Areas and conducting Battle Area Clearance across 164,604 sqm in the region !

MAG’s teams continued operations in the Ammunition Storage Areas (ASA) in Misrata and removed 148 UXO and 320 Small Arms Ammunitions (SAA). The teams identified a new Central Demolition Site (CDS) to conduct demolitions and conducted 17,400sqm of BAC in the area.

The teams in Zintan resumed operations during the reporting week after suspension due to tension in the area last week. The 2 teams cleared 112 UXO around the ASA in Zintan and responded to 6 UXO spot tasks on farms and in houses. UXO spot tasks were generated by the CL teams from the surrounding communities. In total the teams in Zintan conducted 164,064m² of BAC. The teams in Zintan conducted a bulk demolition this week.

The CL teams in Misrata conducted 4 RE sessions with 216 beneficiaries and generated 2 Dangerous Area (DA) reports. The CL teams in Zintan conducted 6 RE sessions with 106 beneficiaries and generated 5 DA reports and 4 accident/victim reports. Operations in Sirte are still suspended.

FSD
No operations in Sirte due to the evacuation two weeks ago, other operation possibilities in Waddan and Houn in Al-Jufra region are explored

No operations were carried out in Sirte during the reporting period based upon the letter issued two weeks ago from the “Higher Security Council” (HSC) of Sirte requesting all International NGOs to vacate Sirte.

Because of the short notice given to leave, most agencies have had to leave several tasks outstanding. This includes approximately 4,000 items of UXO awaiting destruction at the Central Demolition Site (CDS).

During this week FSD and other Sirte-based international NGOs accompanied LMAC to the towns of Waddan and Houn in the Al-Jufra region. Several sites were visited, and FSD plans to carry out a few small tasks in the area before Ramadan. A task site was also identified in Tripoli, and FSD will move its team to work in Tripoli through next week to keep their skill levels up.

About JMACT

The Joint Mine Action Coordination Team is a partnering of the UN and international NGOs that is working together with the Libyan Mine Action Centre and Ministry of Education to present a coordinated response to the explosive remnants of war threat in Libya. JMACT provides coordination, prioritizes clearance tasks, mobilizes resources and liaises with the appropriate authorities in Libya.

JMACT Impact By Numbers
Number of Clearance Teams - 23
Number of Risk Education Teams - 29
Number of Mine/ERW Cleared - 314,399
Number of Schools Cleared - 89
Number of Houses Cleared - 2,819
Number of Direct Risk Education Beneficiaries - 184,639
Number of International Staff - 66
Number of National Staff - 293

Funding

Funding remains a huge challenge to maintaining current levels of operation in Libya, let alone expanding to meet the necessary need. Clearance work including essential ERW road clearance in Sirte has been forced to shut down due to lack of available funds. This means more than just the works stops; this means that the money invested in training and equipment is actually lost. Contact us now to find out how you can help.