Weekly Security Update

Overview

The Political Isolation law led this week to the GNC President, Mohamed Magarief’s resignation.  Magarief had been Ambassador to India under Gaddafi back in the 1980s but had spent over 30 years in exile and had been a major opposition figure to the dictator.  If this trend continues there will be few who are completely untainted by the Gaddafi era.

Stoppages have continued in Libya’s oil fields again this week, this time with the Elephant field being affected as production was closed down as a precaution in the face of protests.  The protests all concern poor working conditions or lack of employment opportunities for local people.  Separately the head of Cyrenaica Council has declared the region as a self-governing region.

France’s Prime Minister, Francois Hollande, has denied reports that France is considering intervention in southern Libya to deal with the threat of Islamists there.  And Libya is trying to fight the ICC’s attempts to extradite Saif Al-Islam to The Hague for trial with Justice Minister al-Marghani stating that ‘we will give what is needed to convince the ICC that Libya is capable of conducting a fair trial in accordance with international standards.’

 Tripolitania (Western Libya)

A demonstration at the Ministry of Interior In Tripoli on Sunday by policeman demanding outstanding pay turned ugly when some protesters opened fire on Ministry guards.  Order was eventually restored but only after a Supreme Security Committee unit was called in.

 Cyrenaica (Eastern Libya)

On Saturday 1 June Ahmad Zubair Al Senussi, head of the Cyrenaica Council, declared Cyrenaica a self-governing region increasing the pressure on the GNC and central government to adopt a federated structure for the new constitution.  The statement came at a rally to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the 1949 declaration of independence by the Emirate of Cyrenaica.  Although he has no authority to make or implement the statement it does have major potential implications as the region is rich in oil reserves and therefore critical to the prosperity of Libya in the long-term.

Sporadic incidents of violence have continued in Benghazi with 3 killed and others wounded in an attack on security patrol from Handuk Brigade on 28 May.  A Police raid the next day in Beida discovered a large cache of small arms including RPG launchers and warheads.

Fezzan (South-western Libya)

Production at Libya's major Elephant or El Feel oilfield has been shut down as a precaution due to a protest at the site.  The field is a joint venture between Libya's state energy firm, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and Italy's Eni pumping 130,000 barrels per day (bpd).  The dispute is over low pay for some of the workers and guards.  This is the latest in a spate of such protests and interruptions to Libya’s key Oil and Gas sector.

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