Another difficult week for the Prime Minister and government assailed on all sides, with no sign of a break in the impasse over control of the crucial eastern ports, the continuing targeting and death of security forces personnel in Benghazi, the spectre of further power outages as a result of violence – both tribal and by Gaddafi loyalists – in the south of the country and the kidnapping of a South Korean trade official.
The Prime Minister’s personal travails continue with elements within the General National Congress (GNC) and further afield pushing for a vote of non-confidence in his leadership. Ali Zeidan shows no sign of weakening and giving into their demands. He continues to talk about plans to remove the separatists from the key export ports but as yet each time he has made the threat he has not followed through and he remains increasingly embattled.
Tripolitania (Western Libya).
Politically the Prime Minister’s position remains under continual attack from the GNC and he has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being behind the attempts to topple him. As he rightly points out it is difficult to see who his successor would be if he did go but that did not stop protesters from storming the GNC and firing shots in the air briefly on Tuesday as they attempted to force a vote of no-confidence in Zeidan.
There have been clashes in the southern Tripoli district of Rishfana between government forces and gangs engaged in a campaign of stealing vehicles and carjackings over the weekend resulting in the death of one government militiaman, two others are reported wounded.
Sunday saw the abduction of the head of South Korean Trade Investment Agency in Libya on his way home from work in the capital in the late hours of Sunday evening. His Iraqi driver was left unharmed as the kidnappers left with the South Korean. This has become part of a disturbing trend of abducting foreign nationals in recent days.
Cyrenaica (Eastern Libya).
The three key ports under the control of the separatist Al-Jadran continued this week despite the Prime Minister once again talking about plans to take them back and once again would not be drawn on what those plans were or the timelines for them.
Security issues at the Sarir power station in the south of Cyrenaica may have serious implications for the provision of power generation to the rest of the country. It is reported that three soldiers were killed in an ambush in the area on Saturday.
The campaign against the security forces in Benghazi continued this week with the killing of two members of the Army in the city, whose bodies were discovered on Sunday having been executed.
It is also believed that two Italian construction workers are missing in Derna and are presumed to have been abducted sometime over the weekend.
Fezzan (Southern Libya).
A state of emergency was declared in Sabha as clashes continued to occur from last week’s reported tribal clashes, over 30 people have been killed since the violence started. The violence has also involved a sustained attack on Saturday by believed pro-Gaddafi loyalists on the airbase at Tamenhint, some 30km south of Sabha. The attack was so serious that for the first time since the Revolution aircraft were employed to support efforts to resecure the base. Units from Misrata have been tasked to move there and restore order on an increasingly restive and unstable south.