Presence of antipersonnel mines, their location and origin; treatment of the subject of mines by the media; authors of articles on the subject; risks incurred for discussing mines in the media [LBY39649.E]

According to a Human Rights Watch Landmine Monitor report, Libya claims its landmines problem dates back to World War II (2000). According to the report, Libya is dissatisfied with the Mine Ban Treaty as it does not hold responsible those states which originally laid the antipersonnel mines on foreign territory (ibid.). The report further states the following:

Libya is not known to have produced or exported AP mines. Libya has imported mines from the former Soviet Union, including the POMZ-2 and the POMZ-2M AP fragmentation mines. The size and composition of Libya's AP mine stockpile is not known.
Libya is believed to have deployed antipersonnel mines during its border conflict with Egypt in 1977 and also during its border conflict with Chad between 1977-1987. Libya is also believed to have deployed mines for protection of strategically and economically important locations within Libya (ibid.).

Human Rights Watch cites the Libyan government's figures on existent landmines in Tobruk, Al-Mechili, Darna, Abiar, Tmimi, Benghazi, Ghemines, Agedabia, Aggheila, Marsa Brega, Gialo, Marada, and surrounding locations (ibid.).

A professor of political science at the University of Texas in San Antonio who has written extensively on the current Libyan government stated in a telephone interview that landmines laid by European forces during World War II can be discussed in the media, and have been discussed at length in the past (7 Aug. 2002). However, the professor stressed that any discussion of landmines placed by the Libyan government itself, either for internal security or in border disputes with neighbouring countries, is impossible in any public forum and would be considered criticism against the government (ibid.). The professor was unaware of any article which discussed the problem of landmines in Libya (ibid.). He stated that he was "sceptical" that any article on the government's involvement in the laying of landmines in Libya could be published without censure or reprisals (ibid.). He stated that the government does not tolerate criticism of the government by the media, which is tightly controlled and censured (ibid.).

No information on articles on the subject of landmines published in Libya could be found among sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Human Rights Watch (HRW). 2000. Landmine Monitor Report. [Accessed 6 Aug. 2002]

Professor of political science, University of Texas, San Antonio. 7 August 2002. Telephone interview.

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 1999-2000.

Africa Research Bulletin 1999-2000.

IRB databases.

Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 2000.


World News Connection (WNC).

Internet sites including:

BBC News.

Féderation internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH).

Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN).

Islam On Line.

Mines Action Canada.