Weekly Security Update

Overview

Tripoli and other towns in the west of Libya have suffered further power outages as a result of the Amazigh control of the oil flow to key power stations and their protest to achieve greater prominence for their minority rights.  The government power generation is now at 4,600 megawatts in sharp contrast to the usual 6,000.

Benghazi has continued to endure fighting between Ansar al-Sharia and Libyan Special Forces with further deaths on both sides this week.  The assassinations of military personnel have also continued with 2 servicemen being shot dead in as many days.

In Sebha, there was another prison break-out with some 50 escaping from the central prison.  This is the 7th occurrence this year.  Also close by 40 were killed when ammunition exploded in an arms and ammunition depot that they were raiding for copper content.

Tripolitania (Western Libya)

The events of 16th November have brought into sharp focus the formation of the General Purpose Force (GPF). The GPF is a new security force which will be trained by Italy, the US and UK and provide an apolitical yet militarily capable and loyal to the government security force in Libya.  This is in contrast to the more secularist militia support from Zintan for the Ministry of Defence and the Islamist militia support for the Ministry of the Interior.  The programme is for some 8,000 to be trained outside of Libya.  The UK is proposing to train their quota in Bassingbourn in the UK but that plan is currently on hold awaiting funding from the Libyan government.  Italy is covering the funding for training its contingent in Italy and the US has been renovating base in Bulgaria at Novo Selo but again is awaiting funding from the Libyan government.

Separately, the owner and Chief Executive of Tripoli FM, Radwan Ali Gariani, was found dead on 2nd December in a suburb of the city. He had been shot three times.  The motive for the murder is not yet known.

Cyrenaica (Eastern Libya)

Once again assassinations have been order of the day in Benghazi with two murdered this week in targeted killings.  An air force serviceman was shot dead outside his home in the city on Sunday followed by a member of the Preventative Security Force yesterday.

Sporadic fighting has continued between Ansar-al-Sharia and Libyan Special Forces this week.  The Ansar al-Sharia clinic in Ras Obaida was damaged in an explosion a couple of nights ago.  Three soldiers were killed in one incident at a checkpoint following a search of a vehicle that turned up weapons and large quantities of money and another was killed in a drive-by shooting in the city.

Meanwhile in Tobruk security forces stopped and seized a car carrying 900kg of explosives.  The haul included mines that have been used previously in attacks in Benghazi.

Fezzan (Southern Libya)

There was another breakout from the Sebha central prison, this time some 50 inmates escaped on Thursday evening as a result of a dispute that involved one of the tribes, who entered the prison to settle a dispute.  In the ensuing melee some of the inmates were able to escape.

Also on Thursday 40 people were killed as they attempted to steal copper from munitions in an arms dump near to Sebha at Brak al-Shati.  Libya is littered with unsecured or poorly secured munitions dumps resulting in the proliferation of weapons in the region and as far afield as Syria.  Attempts are being made to secure them but in many cases the unstable environment is making those plans currently unachievable.

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