Weekly Security Report by SNE 15th April 2014

North-Western: The interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani has stated that he will not switch to a more permanent role, and remain in post as a ‘caretaker’ until a replacement can be found. His decision was made after his family home was subject to an attack on the evening of the 12th April. He had been voted in and asked to produce a new government earlier in the week by parliament, his refusal will compound the difficulties already faced within the country. Protestors who have been demonstrating against the GNC by blockading Zawia oil port have caused more tension within the capital, most of the city petrol stations depend on the fuel that is transported from this facility. The main road heading west from Janzour to Zawia has been closed several times this week by different groups, all against the current government. The last closure was in relation to the kidnapping of Abdul Hakim Nasser a ministry employee who resides in the Janzour district. His family were demanding action from security forces to secure his release. Last Thursday an armed group attacked a police convoy transporting prisoners from Ain Zara jail for prosecution, although there were no causalities, ten prisoners escaped during the brief firefight. The following night the prison was itself attacked and a protracted exchange of gun fire ensued. Although incidents are occurring throughout the Tripolitania area, the atmospherics and pattern of life are maintaining a sense of normality.

Eastern: The ‘Civil Disobedience’ strikes have been disrupting the eastern cities with many protests and most government and official buildings closed. The streets of Benghazi have had much less traffic and there were limited signs of security forces throughout, in addition the road from the city heading west to towards Tripoli saw many known checkpoints either undermanned or totally free from security forces.  Criminality in the area is still on the rise with the lack of police forces, an engineering student has recently been kidnapped and held to ransom for reportedly 1 Million LYD. There has been a wave of kidnappings, either politically or financially motivated, it is rumoured that gangs are using connections at several banks to get information on which families have funds enough to pay to their demands. The PFG in conjunction with the agreement between Ibrahim Jadhran, eastern elders and the government, have taken control of the oil terminal Hariga in Tobruq. This should increase oil exports as production from the fields will soon be flowing to the port. The country has seen a dramatic decline in production this last year, disrupting government cash flow and energy production.

Southern: The barracks, airport, and other strategic sites at Sebha have been occupied by the 3rd Misratan force and replaced the original peacekeepers from Zintan. The two rival groups in the area, the Tebu and Alwad Suleiman tribe have agreed to a temporary peace, organised by the local Elders and several ministers. The airport however is still closed. Misratan groups are also occupying sites throughout the Jufra district which borders that of Sebha, expanding their area of operations into the Fezzan.

SNE assesses that travel to Libya is still possible but advises that stringent security and travel management plans are in place. An itinerary specific pre-travel risk assessment including mitigation measures are recommended. Travel to desert and border areas, between cities and major urban centres including Benghazi and many other hot spots in the eastern region of the country will require additional security support. In-country personnel should be confident in their evacuation procedures and crisis management plans. Crime remains one of the biggest risks to foreign personnel operating on the ground and the risk is assessed to be at its highest in outlying areas of the cities, particularly after last light when travel is not recommended. SNE can assist clients with pre entry risk assessments, on the ground physical support, safe discreet transportation, accommodation/business centre and risk management services throughout the region with villas and offices in both Tripoli & Benghazi.

 

 

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