UK Foreign Secretary Visit to Libya Underscores Importance of Demining WorkUK foreign secretary Boris Johnson met Danish Demining Group (DDG) representatives in Libya on Thursday, for briefing on the impact of demining work on the ability of displaced people to return to their homes.
The number of internally displaced people in Libya is estimated to be over 435,000 by the UNHCR, with no prospect of safe return until many areas around the country are cleared of unexploded ordnance.
The visit comes as part of a UK-funded DDG programme in Libya for the training of local capacities, with the aim of further decreasing the extensive threats explosive remnants of war pose on the country’s population.
Head of DDG, Richard Maccormac, speaking from Copenhagen, said:
"DDG is very grateful for UK support in addressing the challenges of explosive remnants of war in Libya. The work is of vital importance to enable safe return of those affedcted by conflict."
DDG began its explosive ordnance disposal work with a local partner, Free Fields Foundation (3F), when 3F removed first unexploded ordnance from a home in Tripoli, in December 2016.
Besides the UK, DDG’s programme in Libya is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the European Commission, UNDP, and the US Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA).
"Our goal is to help recreate safe environments in Libya where people can live free of remnants of conflict and armed violence," Maccormac added.
"We use the grants to help facilitate safe returns of displaced communities, decrease explosive remnants of war related casualties, and increase the productive use of land and infrastructure."