Building an ammunition shelter may not come across as a priority for many Libyans, who face the challenges of a post-revolution transitional period buffeted by political divisions, armed clashes as well as disruptions in the country’s major lifeline in oil production.
But for the cities and towns where arms and ammunition are stashed in residential neighbourhoods and in unsafe and unsecure environment, setting up a secure ammunition storage site by the United Nations and the Swiss Government matters, although it serves as an interim solution for an acute problem in a country awash with weapons and unsecured munitions from the 2011 conflict.
On 2 July, the first temporary ammunition shelter of its kind in post-revolutionary Libya was inaugurated in Misrata, the western coastal city that took the brunt of the wrath of Gadhafi’s forces during the 2011 revolution.
“We worked together with the United nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) team since March 2011, we managed to reduce the threat of Mines and Explosives Remnants of War (ERW) on the civilian population”, stated Colonel Youssef Abdel Jawad, the representative of the Libyan Army Chief of General Staff office.
“The size of the problem is very big; it needs continuous efforts in order to remove the threat of Mines and ERW, as well as the unsecured ammunitions and weapons. We highly appreciate the support from the United Nations in this regards”, he added.
“This ceremony is humble in its appearance but important in its significance, and sends a message to those responsible for rebuilding Libya of the importance of safeguarding its future,” said Colonel Mohamed Terjuman from the Libyan Army Engineers and the responsible for Mine Action operations in Misrata.