Weekly Security Update

Overview

The Foreign and Justice Ministries in Tripoli have remained blockaded by Militias this week despite the passing of the controversial Political Isolation Bill and counter rallies by pro-Government supporters.  The Bill, passed on 6 May, has a month to be implemented.  The blockaders appear to have now turned their attentions on bringing down the Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan and his cabinet.  It is not yet clear what the passing of the Political Isolation Bill will mean for the likes of Mohammed Magarief, the President of the General National Council, who was a serving ambassador under Gaddafi before becoming an opposition leader in exile.  There are believed to be some 40 out of the 200 members of the GNC, who might be affected by the Bill’s implementation.

The Army Chief of Staff, Major General Mangoush, remains under pressure with the GNC Defence Committee being finely balanced in its deliberations as to his performance in rebuilding the armed forces.  The importance of effective Security Sector Reform cannot be overstated in terms of Libya dealing with its current chaotic security structures and situation.

Separately, Saif Gaddafi made a brief appearance in court in Zintan on Thursday heightening the tussle between Libya’s current stance on trying him in Libya set against the ICC’s indictment of him for war crimes and their extraction application to The Hague.

Tripolitania (Western Libya)

This week’s events have centred around the blockades in Tripoli and the GNC’s passing of the Political Isolation Bill.  This is likely to continue this week unless it can be brought to a head by the Prime Minister.  The issue remains that there is no one to remove the militiamen short of direct confrontation that will only result in further unrest and violence.  It is not clear to see how, save major concessions being granted, the current stand-off can be resolved peacefully.

Cyrenaica (Eastern Libya)

Another junior officer, this time in the Navy, was assassinated in Benghazi on 5th May by unknown assailants.  This continues the trend of officers in the security forces being targeted.

Sadeq Ellawati has been confirmed as police chief in Benghazi having been standing in as the interim chief since February.  This is the 3rd appointment of a police chief in Benghazi since the killing of Colonel Faraj Drissi in November last year.

Derna continues to suffer from insecurity and violence with its passport office being burnt through arson.

Fezzan (SW Libya)

Torrential floods have hit parts of Fezzan including Murzuk.  The floods believed to be the worst in 30 years have left some 3,000 people homeless.  Many roads are impassable and aid is being flown into the region.  UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations are on site supporting those affected.

 

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