Weekly Security Report By SNE 17 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 visit our website www.snespecialprojects.com or please email us at [email protected] 

SNE Libya Security Summary

Today (17 February 2015) on the 4th anniversary of the 2011 Libyan Revolution, Bernardino Leon the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya writes: “When the people of Libya rose up on 17 February 2011, they were demanding their rights and seeking freedom and democracy. The symbols of the old despotic regime were destroyed and the new beginning for Libya was promising. The Libyans envisaged a better future for themselves and their families. The world, impressed by the courage and determination of the Libyan people, by large stood by their side since then. But the Libyan people did not expect that less than four years later Libyans would be fighting Libyans. They did not expect that the deep divisions will blind the vision of a strong, united and prosperous country having its rightful place among the nations of the world. They did not expect terrorist groups, taking advantage of the chaos, to be fast gaining ground and committing horrendous crimes.”

Egypt launched air strikes in northeast of Libya yesterday (16 February). The bombings came as Cairo vowed to find those responsible for the beheadings of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians kidnapped by fighters pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Libya's Sirte. Al Jazeera reported that at least seven people were killed in the air strikes in the coastal city of Derna after Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to "punish" those responsible for the beheadings. Egypt's military said it carried out the raids early on Monday against ISIL camps, training sites and weapons storage areas. In a statement aired on state television, the military said: "The air strikes hit their [ISIL] targets precisely, and the falcons of our air forces returned safely to their bases." However, photos published on social media purportedly showed several damaged residential areas in Derna. Omar al-Hassi, the head of Libya's GNC in Tripoli, called the Egyptian raids "terrorism" and denounced them as a "sinful aggression".

The Italian government chartered a catamaran from Virtu Ferries to evacuate its embassy staff from Tripoli on the 15th February. The catamaran San Gwann left Tripoli at about around 12.15pm with between 50 and 100 Italians aboard. The exact number could not be established. It should be arriving in Malta at 7pm for refuelling before heading on to the port of Augusta in Sicily.

Following a recent ceasefire agreement which was signed and distributed from believed to be Musratan ‘Libya Dawn’ officials, There have been fresh clashes in western Libya between Libya Dawn forces and those of the Libyan National Army (LNA) south of Aziziya, near Kikla and near Al-Jmail. Within the previous week there have been continued low level clashes between local Militias and what is believed to be ‘Libya Dawn’ militias within the Libyan capital Tripoli. In addition there were reports of two car bomb devices being defused within the Abu Salim area in the vicinity of the Ministry of Justice.

Following the recent high profile attacks within Libya such as the Corinthia Hotel attack which was claimed by an Islamic State (IS) aligned group, the internal security within Tripoli has witnessed a significant increase in volume with a reported 15-20 vehicle check points being erected.

The Libyan Army campaign targeting Islamist militants in Benghazi has continued. While pro-Libyan Army forces have claimed some progress, there remains significant levels of fighting in the central districts of al Sabri, the Laithi district in the east, and the southern Benghazi area of Garyounis.

In other areas of Libya, it is reported that tribal fighting has continued to flare within Sabah, multiple incidents including the storming of a local medical Centre by ‘Tebu’ fighters. Oil production at the Sarir oilfield, Libya’s largest, has stopped following a blast on the pipeline linking it and the oilfield at Messla to the Hariga oil terminal at Tobruk which was reported on the 14th February.” 

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.

Locally employed client staff within Libya should continually practice extra vigilance and caution regarding their personal security, in addition anything classed as suspicious should be reported to the SNE Security Tripoli Operations Manager at the first opportunity.

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. Visit our website www.snespecialprojects.com

 

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