Following the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, an absence of a strong central government has resulted in ongoing conflicts between rival armed groups and militias. Fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and reduced towns and cities like Sirte to rubble, littered with dangerous debris—from unexploded mortars to cluster bombs.

Despite previous efforts by several humanitarian mine action organisations to remove these lethal remnants of war, there has not been the technical knowledge needed to make Libya’s decimated cities safe. As a result, families desperate to rebuild their lives have been unable to return to their homes.

“Sirte has been severely damaged. We want all the mines to be removed very soon because of the threat they pose, especially to our children."

Citizen of Sirte

Our Work

Since establishing a presence in Libya in 2018, we have been able to draw on our 30 years of experience in mechanical clearance to make Libya’s urban centres safe. Unprecedented levels of destruction, including in residential areas with multi-story buildings, piles of rubble and collapsed buildings, demand innovative solutions, including adapting and armouring machines more commonly seen on civil engineering sites.

Our work is currently focused on the coastal city of Sirte. The last bastion of Daesh in North Africa until their defeat in 2016, Sirte experienced some of the worst fighting of Libya’s civil war. In collaboration with the Libyan Mine Action Centre (LibMAC) and local authorities, we have recruited and trained the first two mechanical clearance teams in Sirte. One pile of rubble at a time, they are now clearing their own city of explosive debris—making it safe for people to return home and rebuild their lives.

“With HALO, I am learning how to devote every single minute of what I do to giving and charity. Every minute I dedicate to work means that we are one step closer to rejoicing in Sirte becoming free of mines and explosives.”

Husam BinSasi, Information Management, HALO

Husam BinSasi grew up in Misrata, studying languages at the city’s university. During the fight to defeat Daesh in Sirte he was embedded as an interpreter with journalists. He now works as an Information Management Officer for HALO, helping create a safe future for his country.

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