“Many other areas in Libya suffer from bad storage,” Terjuman, of the Libyan Army Engineers, acknowledged in his address as UN, Swiss and Libyan military and local officials listened. “We ask God to support us in resolving these issues.”
UNMAS is currently looking for funding to build upon this first step by implementing a sustainable and environmentally sound, three-step way of disposing ammunition through clearing infected territories, destroying expired munitions, reclaiming materials that can be recycled and finally building secure storage facilities.
“It’s not for us coming from outside to tell Libyans how to solve their problems,” said Heslop of UNMAS. “We’re looking for a partnership with Libyans and to support Libyan solutions.”
UNMAS has said that there was an $19.7 million shortfall in the 2013 budget covering 25 Mine Action, Arms Control and Ammunition Management projects for Libya. UNMAS appealed to the Libyans and the international community to make up for the funding shortfall to support the Libyan Government address the threat of explosive remnants of war, illicit arms proliferation and unsecured ammunition storage areas.
“Remarkable progress has been made in freeing essential infrastructure and agricultural lands from explosive remnants of war but concerted arms and ammunition management efforts are required to ensuring the long term security of Libya and its neighbors,” senior UNMAS official in Libya, Diek Engelbrecht, said in launching the 2013 mid-year review of the Libya Portfolio at 7 July event at the Belgian Embassy.
(Picture: Nearly-finished UNMAS ammunition shelter in Misrata)