Weekly Security Report By SNE 03 February 2015

SNE Special Projects have operated within Libya since the revolution of 2011 and are a fully licensed security provider working with our Libyan partner company. We have kept our permanent British & Libyan Country Management Team in Tripoli throughout the last few difficult months, supporting our clients staff and critical infrastructure and offering up to date, regular and accurate reporting throughout this period. We are now in a strong position to advise and support our clients as they look to plan their re-entry back into Libya as and when the current situation stabilises and allows for remobilization. We have a vast amount of experience of supporting clients from the media, telecoms, power generation & NGO sectors. For more information on our services within Libya please email us at [email protected]

SNE Libya Security Summary

The General National Congress and the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) agreed on Monday 02 January to hold the next round of talks in Libya, however declined to name the location for security and logistic            reasons. This dialogue will continue to include representatives from different realms of Libyan society to discuss various subjects. Building on what has been discussed in previous rounds of dialogue these talks are planned to start in a matter of days. The agreement was made following the visit of the UNSMIL's Bernardino León to the GNC in Tripoli and his meeting with the congress speaker Nuri Abu Sahmain. Leon stated that ‘’We very much hope that a ceasefire will formally be declared and will be implemented as soon as possible’’ The Head of the National Salvation Government Omar Al Hasi and a number of his ministers including his Chief of Staff of the Army also met leaders of the revolutionaries to discuss the latest political process in the country both internally and externally.

Reports stated that the Central Security Organisation’s building in the al Hadba al Sharqia district of Tripoli was hit by a blast in the early morning of 02 February, with initial causality figures showing one dead and two injured. Libya Dawn claim that the blast was as a result of a Vehicle Bourne Explosive Device (VBIED) carried out by the Libyan National Army (LNA), whilst the LNA claims it was carried out by Ansar al Sharia. The blast followed a weekend of clashes in the Dahra, Dahmani and Fashloom districts and claims of two separate unrelated blasts in both the al Batata and Tajura areas also on 02 February.

The Jordanian Embassy in Tripoli was also reportedly attacked by gunmen on 31 January and a security guard allegedly kidnapped. The Jordanian government has denied reports that its embassy in west Tripoli was attacked and ransacked. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ashraf Khasawneh said in a statement Saturday night that after investigating the situation, all members of the mission were found to be safe and no damage had been done to the building. The British Foreign Office released a statement which advised all UK nationals in Libya to depart the country after five foreign nationals were killed in an attack on Tripoli’s Corinthia Hotel on 27 January.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) campaign targeting Islamist militants in Benghazi has continued. While pro-Libyan Army forces have claimed some progress, there are still significant levels of fighting in the central districts of al Sabri, the Laithi and the southern Benghazi area of Garyounis. LNA airstrikes were also reported against Ansar al Sharia targets in Laithi around the Hay Dollar district.

It is assessed that the nearby Souq al Hoot area is now almost completely cleared of Ansar al Sharia fighters after the LNA had entered the area. Ansar Sharia has itself been busy promulgating messages over social media that it has established its own court and police unit in the Huwari district of Benghazi.

On 31 January the downtown and port areas continued to face shelling and airstrikes with rockets landing close to the Islamic Call Society Building being reportedly fired from the direction of Garyounis and Gamfouda. HoR officials claim Ansar Al Sharia of being responsible for these strikes. Other missiles are reported to have fallen in Beloun district, whilst the new Tstahedvt Power Plant, next to the Hawari Hospital was also hit by a shell which set it alight.

Major check points are in place in Tripoli and conducting random stops on anyone that raises concern. By all reports the men manning them have been polite and courteous, allowing personnel to continue on their way once they had identified who they are. It appears that the power cuts that have plagued Tripoli for the last two months are diminishing and fewer and shorter power cuts are taking place, both during the day and night.  

Due to the current ongoing unstable and unpredictable security situation within Libya, SNE are recommending that at this moment in time clients only carry out business essential travel trips to Libya, these trips should only be undertaken within Tripoli city limits and no movement should be attempted in the hours of darkness or near certain flash point areas such as Tripoli International Airport and surroundings districts, GNC buildings and hotels known to be frequented by internationals which could prove to be flash points for further incidents.

Due to the attack on the Corinthia hotel in Tripoli on the 27 January, hotels in Tripoli are now being looked at again from a security perspective and for the time being we recommend only using safe accommodation which has been authorised for use.

We are advising No movement to the western area of Libya in and around Kikla and Rujban and other surrounding areas where fighting is still ongoing between the Zintan and Libya Dawn militia groups. Sporadic fighting between rival tribal factions is also currently ongoing in the areas of Ubari, Sabha & Murzuq and we are advising our clients Not to travel to these southern areas at present.

We are still presently advising NO travel should be made to Benghazi until the current situation shows signs of stability and Operation Dignity forces have full control of the city and transportation methods of entering and leaving Benghazi are open again.

SNE are supporting our clients at present in Tripoli with business essential travel visits and are offering a full turnkey security risk management, safe transportation with secure accommodation and life support package based from our Tripoli villa.

The British FCO and US State Department are still advising against travel to Libya and are monitoring the security and political situation before considering remobilisation plans back into Libya.

SNE remains fully operational on the ground within Tripoli, where our British Country Management Team are able to support any of our existing and additional clients requests and provide up to date accurate information and analysis on the ever changing situation to those clients who are currently out of country monitoring the situation with an aim to re-deploying when the security and political situation allows.

Before considering travel to Libya, an itinerary specific pre-travel risk assessment including mitigation measures are recommended. In-country personnel should be confident in their evacuation procedures and crisis management plans and in light of the current situation these should be checked and updated where necessary with the appropriate level of support in country to activate the plans when required. 

To discuss further how SNE can support your projects in Libya please contact us by email at [email protected] or call our Dubai office on +971 44561542 / +971 503786803

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