Security in Tripoli will remain good overall, although there is a continued risk of clashes between rival militias as well as the national army. Travel around the city will remain fluid, although the frequency of checkpoints may increase in response to perceived threats or tensions between different militia groups.
Benghazi will remain calm, although the risk of strikes and protest that have the potential for sporadic violence will remain.
Tensions will also remain in rural and urban areas to the south of Tripoli. There is a continued risk of clashes around Bani Walid, while the area around Gharyan also remains tense following clashes between militias from the town and neighbouring Asabaa in recent weeks.
Oil production will continue to increase and many production facilities will reach full capacity in the coming weeks.
Five people were shot dead at their makeshift refugee camp in the Janzour area of the capital on 6 February. The residents of the camp are black Libyans from the town of Tawergha who claim that they are being persecuted for allegedly supporting Muammar Gaddafi during the eight-month conflict. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the attackers were Misratan rebels.
Meanwhile, rival militiamen from Zintan and Misrata clashed for nearly two hours over a beach house formerly owned by Saadi Gaddafi near the Marriott hotel in central Tripoli. The militias pulled out of the centre of the city in December, but have maintained control of key assets, including the airport and several military bases. AKE has consistently warned of the risk of further clashes, despite the apparent stability in the capital.
There are conflicting reports as to the main reason for the fighting, with some saying control of territory in the region of the capital was being disputed, and others claiming the dispute was over the building itself, which has been used as a base by Misratan militiamen. AKE assesses the risk of further clashes remains the same, and although security in the city is generally good, personnel should be mindful of the risk of further clashes of this nature. The fact that the latest clash occurred in an area close to many of the city’s main hotels, including the Marriot and Corinthia demonstrates the potential for foreign personnel to be caught up in future incidents.
Celebrations are also expected to take place on 3 and 4 February to mark the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. Although likely to be mainly peaceful, there is potential for sporadic violence if certain groups take the opportunity to voice their anger at the interim government.
AKE personnel on the ground have noted an increase in random gunfire over recent weeks. Although the practice of celebratory fire was all but eliminated, with the widespread presence of weapons in untrained hands will inevitably lead to further incidents of random firing. Personnel are advised to be vigilant and seek hard cover if they witness such actions in their vicinity.
Benghazi remains calm, although it continues to be affected by sporadic strikes and demonstrations. There is an ongoing risk of violence at demonstrations in the city, which are likely to be focussed around central areas of the city and government buildings, particularly the NTC headquarters, which has seen a number of demonstrations in recent weeks.
Imbarak al-Futmani, the militia commander whose forces driven out of Bani Walid by local tribal fighters stated on 27 January that his forces were massing to recapture the town, but were holding back at the government’s request. The statement highlights the volatility of the area at present, where further clashes are likely. The west of the country has seen a number of clashes in recent months between rival militias, and involving tribal groups accused of harbouring Gaddafi era war criminals.