Libya hailed for early demining efforts

March 26, 2012 at 9:28 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, March 26 (UPI) -- Though it's off to a good start, the transitional government in Libya could do more in the demining effort, said Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch said it observed the destruction of roughly 100 anti-vehicle land mines in eastern Libya last week. Close to 20,000 mines were destroyed in the country since February.

The Libyan transitional leadership has pledged to destroy all mines in its arsenals/

"The Libyans have begun respecting their 2011 pledge to destroy the hundreds of thousands of land mines in their possession," Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "Now the work needs to continue to ensure that these indiscriminate weapons cannot be used in Libya or anywhere else."

The government led by Moammar Gadhafi had refused to join the Mine Ban Treaty. Human Rights Watch said the use of land mines by his loyalists during last year's fighting was "extensive."

Human Rights Watch urged the transitional government to accelerate the destruction process and join international treaties regarding the use of land mines.

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