Since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, an absence of a strong central government has resulted in ongoing conflicts between rival armed groups and militias. Fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and reduced towns and cities like Sirte to rubble, littered with dangerous debris—from unexploded mortars to cluster bombs.

Humanitarian mine action agencies are teaching people what to look for and how to stay safe. Some are also clearing a certain amount of debris, but there is currently no capacity for the more technically challenging clearance of collapsed buildings and rubble. As a result, families desperate to rebuild their lives cannot even return to their homes.

“Sirte has been severely damaged. We want all the mines to be removed very soon because of the threat they pose, especially to our children."

Citizen of Sirte

Our Work

We are working in partnership with the national mine action centre to introduce the equipment, skills and techniques needed to make urban areas safe. We expect to begin clearance in Sirte, the last major stronghold of Gaddafi loyalists during the Libyan Civil War, towards the end of 2019. In the meantime, we are surveying targeted areas, talking to local people and gathering data. Due to the nature and complexity of the problem, we will use armoured mechanical equipment and techniques to make the area safe.

“With HALO, I am learning how to devote every single minute of what I do to giving and charity. Every minute I dedicate to work means that we are one step closer to rejoicing in Sirte becoming free of mines and explosives.”

Husam BinSasi, Information Management, HALO

Husam BinSasi grew up in Misrata, studying languages at the city’s university. During the fight to defeat Daesh in Sirte he was embedded as an interpreter with journalists. He now works as an Information Management Officer for HALO, helping create a safe future for his country.

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