Thank you Chairperson,

Today is the international Mine Awareness and Mine Action day, but new unsettling developments mark a disturbing way to commemorate it.

A team of HRW researchers have just returned from a mission to eastern Libya. During the mission, HRW documented the new use of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines at two locations. In addition, mined areas emplaced during earlier times are also being encountered. For example a large fenced but otherwise unmonitored protective minefield containing AP mines has been found at one ammunition storage area.

In addition to the new mine problem, also present in this part of Libya is a complex and dangerous situation with large quantities of unexploded ordnance, abandoned ammunition, destroyed military equipment, and attacks on ammunition storage areas.

The mine types encountered are varied. Low metal content antipersonnel mines of a type produced in Brazil have been found recently emplaced -- the area was unmarked, unmonitored and no measures had been taken to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians. The mined area contained an estimated 30-40 antipersonnel mines, used in conjunction with two dozen Chinese-produced antivehicle mines, which were emplaced on a track commonly used by vehicles and pedestrians.

HRW has found abandoned in Benghazi two types of low metal content antivehicle mine produced in Belgium. Additional stocks of these antivehicle mines were looted from storage facilities.

Both types of the antivehicle mines encountered so far possessed auxiliary fuze wells on the side or bottom of the mine, sometimes both, that raises the threat that they have been equipped with antihandling devices or otherwise booby trapped.

Thus the situation of Libya reminds us that Amended Protocol II is not universal nor are the standards set by it being respected by forces actively using mines.

According to the Landmine Monitor Report 2010, Burma/Myanmar was the only state to recently be using antipersonnel mines. Libya is now added to this list.  Neither are party to CCW. 

There are 14 states that possess stockpiles of AP mines that are not party to CCW: Armenia, Azerbiajan, Bahrain, Burma, Iran, DPRK, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, Somalia, and Syria.

In addition, seven parties to CCW that possess stockpiles of AP mines have not joined APII, as well as two signatories, Egypt and Vietnam, that have not joined since signing CCW in the early 1980s.