Weekly Security Report by SNE 2 December 2014

Libyan general Khalifa Haftar said on Friday he has given himself two weeks to take control of Benghazi and three months to capture the capital Tripoli. On Friday Haftar pledged to launch a full-blown assault on Tripoli, which was seized control of by the Misratan Led Alliance (MLA) of Libya Dawn in August, after a spate of recent air attacks on the city.

Meanwhile in the western town of Zawiya, one person was seriously injured following clashes between two militia groups after one declared that it was shifting its allegiance from the Libya Dawn movement to the House of Representatives.

Once again, fighting in Benghazi seems to have become increasingly localised as military operations and clashes between the Libyan Army and members of the Islamist-led Benghazi Shura Council are focused in the militant strongholds of al Sabri and in the southern districts near Hawari. For instance, while the Libyan Army was reportedly carrying out air strikes on Benghazi Shura Council positions within Hawari, Sidi Faraj and Airport Road on 27 November, heavy clashes were also reported in al Sabri as Libyan Army helicopters and tanks continued their assault on Islamist militants.

In a recent statement made by the Egyptian government announcing that all their flights in and out of Libya will be cancelled with immediate effect. The statement comes shortly after the air-strikes which were conducted namely on the Matiga airport and western Libya Dawn stronghold locations.

Over the past week it has proved increasingly difficult to determine exactly which carriers are committed to maintaining their flight routes in and out of Libya. It became clearer on Sunday as to which carriers are committed.

Tripoli’s Appeal Court has yet again postponed the trial of Saif Al-Islam Qaddafi and 36 other senior officials of the former regime, including the once-feared former security chief Abdullah Senussi. This is the sixth adjournment this year.

The government has given the go-ahead for third Libyan-Tunisian border crossing at Mashhad Salih. It is roughly equidistant from the current two crossings, at Ras Jedir on the coast and Dehiba-Wazin in the Jebel Nafusa much further south.

Libya is to get a new university and possibly an overflow airport for Labraq, the government has decided. Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni chaired his eighth cabinet meeting which, rather than focusing on the security position, turned its attention for a change to education and transport.

Residents in Kabaw in the Jebel Nafusa and the oasis town of Jakharra near Jalu went to the polls today to elect their new municipal councils. In each case these will consist of five general members, a woman member and a revolution-wounded member.

Due to the current ongoing unstable situation within Tripoli, SNE recommends that only business essential travel and movements should be undertaken within the Tripoli city limits at present.  No movement should be attempted in the hours of darkness or near the area of Tripoli International Airport and surroundings areas which have been affected by the fighting.

We are supporting clients at present in Tripoli with business essential travel visits and are offering a full turnkey risk management and transportation with accommodation and life support package based from our Tripoli villa.  We are advising No movement to the western area of Libya in and around Kikla and Rujban and other surrounding areas where fighting is ongoing between the Operation Dignity and Libya Dawn militia groups.

Fighting is also currently ongoing in the areas of Ubari, Sabha & Murzuq and we are advising our clients Not to travel to these area at present.

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