Weekly Security Update

By Gary Sandiford, Olive Group’s Dubai based assessments manager.  Olive Group is a leading provider of security and technology solutions and has been operating in Libya since mid 2011.

 

Overview

Abdullah Al Senussi,Libya’s former spy chief and brother-in-law to Moammar Al Qadhafi, was extradited from Mauritania to Tripoli on 5 September. Al Senussi is now being held in the Hadba Al Khadra prison, where he will be questioned.  This will likely delay a number of forthcoming trials against former regime members, including Saif Al Islam.  Considerable speculation is being voiced over who will assume the post of prime minister, ahead of the forthcoming vote.  The three main candidates are believed to be electricity minister, Awad Barasi, former prime minister Mahmoud Jibril and the present deputy prime minister Mustafa Abu Shagur.

Libyan authorities reported continued low level activity in the capital and the arrests of a pro-Qadhafi cell in Tripoli on 8 September.  Separately, Interior Minister Fawzi Abdul Aal, blamed Qadhafi regime ‘fifth columnists’ for recent bombings in Tripoli and Benghazi, claiming that confessions had been obtained following recent arrests.  An armed group manning a fake checkpoint between Azizia and Tripoli was reported to have been responsible for at least one murder and several abductions. Libya’s Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces announced a new initiative to collect medium to heavy weapons.  Two principle collection points will open on 16 September, one in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square and one in Benghazi’s Freedom Square.

An increase in security was reported throughout Benghazi on 5 September, possibly connected with the arrest of numbers of illegal immigrants in the city. One person was shot in Al Kufra on 9 September, which residents described as a violation of the peace agreement between Zwai Arabs and Tabu fighters in the area.  Clashes were reported in Rajma, 30 km east of Benghazi on 7 September, after armed locals fought off Salafists who attempted to destroy a local mausoleum. The clashes were reported to have left three people dead and several wounded.  On 10 September, Air Force Colonel, Badr Khamis Saad Al Obeidi, a senior military official who served in the Qadhafi regime was killed in a drive by shooting in Benghazi’s Al Huwari district.  This was the latest in a series of assassinations against current and former military officers in the city. 

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