Weekly Security Summary by SNE 22 April 2014

North Western: This last week has witnessed some high profile events, firstly the elaborate kidnapping of the Jordanian ambassador   to Libya Fawaz al-Itan's on Tuesday 15th   April. The masked gunmen reportedly shot and wounded the driver of Ambassador   Fawaz al-Itan's car as they snatched the diplomat from a street in the   capital Tripoli. The kidnappers made their demands in a call to the   ambassador's own cell phone, which was left behind in the car after the   abduction. The Tunisian embassy to Libya has reportedly halved its current   staff within the last week due to the kidnapping of Aroussi Gontassi   who was an advisor to the Tunisian embassy. It is thought that a large number   of congress members are continually pursuing the replacement of Abdullah   Al-Thinni who was sworn as the interim Prime Minister on 8th April   following threats to step down unless granted increased powers   however he announced five days later that he   regretted accepting the job, and that he would stand down when congress   elected a replacement and that he would not present it with a   new cabinet, as requested by congress. Within the north west of the   country, various different groups have also   blocked oil installations on-and-off during the same period, demanding more   minority rights or calling for amendments to electoral laws.   

 

Eastern:   Libyan voters went to the   polls on Saturday to elect municipal council members in 15 cities including   Benghazi the country's second city, which is seeking greater autonomy for the   eastern seaboard region.  Benghazi has   until now had only ever had an interim council with piecemeal funding from   central government, but the election is meant to pave the way for fuller and   more regular allocations, potentially improving the volatile city's   relationship with Tripoli. The recent polling did not come without incident   including two improvised explosive devices (IED’s) which were contained and   defused outside the central election polling station in Benghazi. Elsewhere   within the city the kidnapping of Mohammed   Bin Issa Al-Sharis a Libyan national university   student on 17th April only raised the awareness of high profile   well organised kidnappings which more often than not result in high ticket   ransom releases. Mohammed Bin Issa Al-Sharis was released following an   elaborate demand for 1 million LYD reduced to 150,000 LYD. The eastern   Benghazi airport has now reopened and is currently receiving international   flights.

 

Southern: Rival forces in the south are continuing to   engage in sporadic fighting, which the Islamist militants are exploiting to   their advantage, and gaining a stronger hold in this area due to the weak government   forces. Western countries are pledging support by training new Libyan forces,   but it could be several years before they are strong enough to work without   the Militia’s. The Armed clashes in Sabah climaxed on Sunday evening leaving   two dead.

 

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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