Violence and conflict in Libya since February 2011 have had a grave impact on civilians. A new briefing paper from PAX and UN OCHA, ‘Shattered lives: Civilians suffer from the use of explosive weapons in Libya‘ illustrates the heavy price that civilians have paid for the explosive violence in Libya through personal accounts of victims and their families.
The widespread use of explosive weapons by Government forces and armed groups in cities, towns and villages has resulted in the death and injury of thousands of civilians, destroyed livelihoods and essential infrastructure, and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes.
Mustafa Alshami, a father of three, lives in Misrata, Libya. He was running errands in May 2011 when a neighbour told him a missile had hit his home.
“There was a hole in the side of my house with a missile in the ground. There was a great deal of commotion, and someone had been holding my four-year-old daughter, Malak. Her legs were shredded. My two-year-old daughter, Rodaina, and my three-year-old son, Mohamed, were dead,” he said. “If I could ask for something, I would tell the international community to please ban these weapons wherever people live. We are completely innocent. Why is it OK for soldiers to fight in safety from so far away, and for my children to die or live like this? This is not OK. We are not the ones who chose to fight. Please, this must be banned now. Four years have passed, but there is not an hour that we do not think of that day and what we lost.”
Download the report ‘Shattered lives: Civilians suffer from the use of explosive weapons in Libya‘
See also our programme Explosive weapons in populated areasProtection of Civilians, Humanitarian Disarmament, Africa