U.S. spends $ 49 million on Libya conventional weapons destruction and explosives clearance over 9 years

By Sami Zaptia.

(Photo: U.S. State Dept).

London, 7 April 2021:

The U.S. embassy revealed today that its government had spent more than US$ 49 million on conventional weapons destruction and clearance of explosive remnants of war in Libya between 2011 and 2020. The revelation was made in the U.S. 2021 To Walk the Earth in Safety annual report.

The report said the full extent of landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination in Libya remains unknown due to the 2011 revolution and more recent fighting. In addition to ERW contamination, illicit small arms/light weapons (SA/LW) proliferation fuels conflict in Libya and its neighbours.

The report said the U.S. government is working with allies, international organizations, and implementing partners to mitigate the conventional weapons destruction (CWD) threat that prevents development, prohibits delivery of humanitarian assistance, and threatens the security of returning IDPs. Additionally, renewed fighting in western Libya, which began in April 2019, likely has resulted in significant new contamination in and around Tripoli, although a comprehensive survey has not been conducted. Libya is also contaminated with Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) in areas previously occupied by ISIS, particularly Sirte.

From 2011 to 2020, the United States invested more than US$ 49 million working with partners and allies to coordinate a CWD response with a focus on (Man-portable air-defence systems) MANPADS destruction and ERW clearance.

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