Since April 2019, deaths have been reported daily on the outskirts of the Libyan capital Tripoli due to landmines and explosive traps left there. The clashes between the forces of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and troops led by eastern commander Khalifa Haftar have been going on for over 400 days now.
Migrants and residents have died daily in the area of Tripoli due to landmines and explosive traps left in the areas on the outskirts of the Libyan capital, where clashes started in April last year.
Although the clashes ended recently, following 400 days of fighting between the forces of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord and the forces led by eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, they left behind a huge number of mines and explosive materials that have claimed the lives of dozens of civilians so far.
One of the victims of the explosive devices left by Khalifa Haftar's forces is an 18-year-old migrant from Niger. On Wednesday, June 10, he was injured by a landmine explosion in the Ain Zara area south of Tripoli, whilst he was helping a Libyan citizen clean up his house.
According to the Field Medicine and Support Center of the Ministry of Health of the Government of National Accord, the migrant was taken to the hospital for treatment.
"The situation is serious and completely out of control," Rabei Jawashi, director of programs at the Tripoli-based Free Fields Foundation for humanitarian mine action told InfoMigrants. Jawashi said his organization was planning to temporarily halt the "demining operations" in order to assess how they can be continued.
A migrant from Sudan in Salah Al-Din, south of Tripoli, was also injured as a result of a landmine explosion while cleaning a place that was booby-trapped by a Libyan citizen with mines.
In addition, many mine experts died while trying to remove mines and conducting disposal operations.
Jobless migrants move to dangerous areas
The risks faced by migrants in Libya also included exposure to COVID-19, which led to a reduction in employment opportunities. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that 25% of migrants lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The situation led many of them to work in areas south of Tripoli, which were heavily bombed and loaded with landmines and explosive objects, the UN agency said.
During the civil war, which has been ravaging the country since 2014, turmoil in western Libya adversely affected migrants in the country.
At the end of May, 30 Bangladeshi immigrants were killed in a warehouse in Miza near Gharyan, southwest of Tripoli, where they were being held by a human trafficker. This area of Tripoli was under the rule of Khalifa Haftar's forces.
On top of the 30 dead, 11 migrants were seriously injured during this attack and were taken to hospital.
More departures from Libya
These factors have resulted in an increase in the number of migrant departures from Libya to Europe to double last year's numbers, according to data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
From January until May this year, a reported 9,569 migrants departed from Libya -- more than twice the number as in the same period last year (4,158 people).
The factors that could explain this increase include the deterioration of security and living conditions in Libya and the increased activity of smuggling and trafficking networks.