Tripolitania and Tripoli
The security situation in the capital remains relatively stable, with no major incidents being reported during the last seven days. The threat of opportunistic crime remains extant, especially in the outlying districts of the city and during the hours of darkness. Spontaneous demonstrations remain likely, especially in the downtown areas of the capital.
On 27 November, it was announced that the twelve alleged homosexuals arrested by the Nawasi Brigade’s Private Deterrent Force several days earlier would now be handed over to the Ministry of Justice. Unconfirmed reports had claimed that the group had threatened to execute the individuals, however this was subsequently denied by the Nawasi Brigade. On 29 November, the Libya Herald that the twelve had subsequently been released.
On 29 November, the Ministry of Interior officially announced it will hire 6,000 members of the High Security Committees (HSC) to become police officers in Tripoli, Benghazi, Sabha, and Jebel Akhdar. The ministry said it hopes to hire 1,500 people from each region. The head of the HSC’s Tripoli branch had stated in October that the HSC would be dissolved by 1 January 2013, with the majority of its members being incorporated into the national security apparatus. It is unlikely that all HSC personnel will be assimilated into the national security apparatus by the start of 2013.
A number of explosions were reported in the Shara Rashid area of Tripoli late on 1 December. While initial reports claimed that an explosive device had detonated, the explosions were subsequently attributed to a fire in a firework’s store in the area, which led to a number of streets being closed. Despite initial reports that two people were injured, it was subsequently reported that no one was hurt. The fire was attributed to an electrical short circuit, with the resulting fire setting off a large number of fireworks in the building. Some neighbouring stores were also destroyed as a result of the fire.
On 3 December, the Libya Herald wrote that some 70 officers from all four service arms of the Libyan armed forces began a three-day training seminar with the British military in Tripoli. According to Colonel Tim Kingsbury, defence advisor at the UK embassy in Tripoli, the purpose of the seminar was to introduce the Libyan military to a ‘systems approach to training’ which is designed to first understand requirements and then design a training system that meets those requirements.