Human Rights Watch said in a report on Friday that Russia-linked landmines threaten lives in Libya, adding that disturbing news about recent transfers of internationally banned antipersonnel landmines was buried in the latest report of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Libya.
Human Rights Watch indicated that the report showed that antipersonnel mines manufactured in Russia were likely brought into Libya in 2018-2019 despite the UN arms embargo.
It also recalled that it had reported last year the use of antipersonnel landmines and booby traps in southern suburbs of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after Khalifa Haftar’s militias, supported by several foreign states and armed entities, withdrew from the city.
“At the time, the internationally recognized Tripoli-based former Government of National Accord (GNA) shared photographs on Twitter showing Russian-made MON-50, POM-2, POM-2R, and PMN-2 antipersonnel landmines that it claimed were used by “mercenaries” supporting LAAF forces.” Human Rights Watch explained.
Human Rights Watch indicated that the appearance of Russian-made antipersonnel mines in recent conflicts in Libya raises alarm bells and shows that Russia may be deliberately flouting the emerging international norm against any transfers or use of these weapons, which have taken untold lives and limbs.