UN saddened by death of 2 mine clearance workers in Libya’s Tripoli

An acting envoy of the United Nations (UN) to Libya on Monday expressed regrets over the death of two mine clearance workers in the south of the capital Tripoli.

“I am deeply saddened by the deaths of another two mine clearance workers who passed away in the line of duty, sacrificing their lives to ensure that neighborhoods are free from explosive devices and remnants of war,” Stephanie Williams, the UN secretary-general’s acting special representative for Libya, said in a statement.

The statement said that since late May, explosive devices indiscriminately laid by forces affiliated with the east-based army in civilian neighborhoods have reportedly killed and injured 81 civilians and 57 non-civilians, which is a “potential violation of international law.”

“The UN and the international community reaffirm their continued support to Libyan partners, communities, and stakeholders who are working tirelessly to rid Libya of the threat of booby traps, including improvised explosive devices, land mines, and explosive remnants of war,” it said.

Tripoli has witnessed deadly armed clashes between the UN-backed government and the east-based forces for more than a year. The UN-backed government has recently announced the takeover of all of western Libya after the withdrawal of the eastern-based army.

The UN-backed government has accused the east-based army of laying landmines in civilians’ areas before leaving the region, while the east-based army has not responded yet.