Tripoli, 18 July 2013:
Misrata is a step closer to securing arms, ammunition and explosives in the area, with a purpose-built ammunition storage shelter.
The $200,000 facility, paid for by the Swiss government, has been built to international standards under Libyan and UN supervision. Each of the shelter’s two sections are capable of storing 200 tons of explosive material. They have reinforced cement roofs and are encircled by a sand berm – a ridge of sand – for added security.
Another facility is being built in the area, under the supervision of the Army Chief of Staff.
“Since March 2011, we have managed to reduce the threat of Mines and Explosives Remnants of War (ERW) on the civilian population,” said a representative from the Army Chief of Staff office, Colonel Youssef Abdel Jawad.
“The size of the problem is very big and it needs continuous efforts in order to remove the threat of Mines and ERW, as well as unsecured ammunitions and weapons.” he said.
With an estimated $18.7 million shortfall in funding, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has appealed to both Libya and the international community for money to pay for further ammunition shelters. It is also seeking support for sustainable and environmentally sound ways of managing ammunition, including destroying old munitions and reclaiming recyclable materials.
“It’s not for us coming from outside to tell Libyans how to solve their problems,” said Chief of Program Planning and Operations from UNMAS, Paul Heslop. “We’re looking for a partnership with Libyans and to support Libyan solutions.” [/restrict]