In 2011 the civil war in Libya took place, which left many civilians vulnerable to harm from the explosive violence perpetrated by the Libyan state and NATO forces. The instability continues within Libya due to violence between political/religious groups seeking governance in Libya.
AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor has recorded a total of 5,109 deaths and injuries in Libya in the last five years (2011-2015) with the areas most affected by explosive violence in Libya being Misratah, Tripoli, and Benghazi . Of these deaths and injuries, civilians have accounted for 70% (3,586). This heavy civilian toll reflects the amount of explosive violence that has been committed in populated areas – 89% of all civilian deaths and injuries occured in populated areas.
Though explosive violence significantly decreased from the levels recorded in 2011 at the end of the civil war violence, the levels were steadily increasing since the fall in 2012. The decrease from the 2011 levels signals the end of the majority of the civil war violence. However, the new rise reflects a disturbing reality of the continuation of explosive violence there.
Furthermore, state actors were responsible for most explosive violence in 2011 – with the explosive violence that caused the death of 92% of all civilian deaths that year being perpetrated by state actors (predominantly Libya, but also NATO). In the following four years however, it has consistently been non-state actors perpetrating the explosive violence, albeit at significantly lower levels than those seen in 2011 by the state. It was ISIS and their affiliates – relatively new to Libya – that committed the most explosive violence this year and this violence has continued in 2016.
The weapon types used over the last five years mirrors the state/non-state actor divide. Ground and air launched weapons were responsible for all civilian deaths and injuries in 2011. However, in recent years these weapons lost their dominant role and were gradually replaced by IEDs, which reflects the emergence of non-state actors committing these acts of explosive violence in Libya now. In 2015, deaths and injuries by IEDs were, for the first time, higher than those caused by other weapons.
So far in Libya in 2016 (January – September), explosive violence has killed or injured 663, of which 33% (219) were civilians. Though a similar amount of deaths and injuries in the same period of time in 2015, a greater proportion of those in 2015 were civilians (475) – civilian deaths and injuries in 2016 show a decrease of over 50%.
Airstrikes continue to target militants, whilst it appears that many militants are increasingly targeting police and military as opposed to civilian targets. In fact, of all IED caused deaths and injuries, 84% have been those of armed actors.
Of the civilian deaths and injuries seen this year, 40% has been caused by air-launched explosives, 28% by ground-launched, and 32% by IEDs.
Four years of harm: Explosive Violence Monitor 2011-2014
Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) reveals its data on the global impact of explosive violence between 2011 and 2014.
Explosive States- Monitoring explosive violence in 2014: Conclusions and recommendations
AOAV's report "Explosive State" reveals the impact of explosive wepaons on civilians in 2014. This chapter: Conclusions and Recommendations
Explosive States- Monitoring explosive violence in 2014: IEDs
AOAV's report, "Explosive States" reveals the humanitarian impact of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) on civilians in 2014.
Explosive States- Monitoring explosive violence in 2014: Overview
AOAV's new report, "Explosive States" shows the global impact of explosive weapons on civilians in 2014. This section: Overview