Weekly Security Summary by SNE Special Projects 16 June 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 enough and allows for remobilization. We have a vast amount of experience of supporting clients from the media, telecoms, power generation, Oil & Gas, Construction & NGO sectors. For more information on our services within Libya please email us at [email protected] or visit our website www.snespecialprojects.co.uk

For the first time, both sides in the UN-brokered Libya Dialogue process sat down at the same table to negotiate yesterday in Berlin where officials from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, the US and the EU as well as Russia and China, pressed them to accept the latest draft agreement.

In what is thought to be a US drone strike, at a farm location near Ajdabiya in the early hours of Monday morning killing seven leading members of Libya’s Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Al-Sharia group. One of the victims of the raid, was the Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar, former leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) who was accused of organising the January 2013 attack on Algeria’s desert Im-Amenas gas processing plant, in which 39 hostages and an Algerian guard died.

In a very positive move forward this week for the west of Libya, Al-Zawiya and Zintan signed a reconciliation agreement on Friday that obliges both cities to exchange all of the detained prisoners and to pull out their fighters from the front lines. The agreement also includes the return of the displaced to Zintan, Al-Zawiya and the neighboring cities, and ending the based on identity random arrest and allowing gasoline into the city of Zintan. On 09 June a similar agreement was signed between Gharyan and Zintan to end war in their region. Both sides agreed to reopen closed roads and withdraw pro-forces to their administrative borders.

As this last week’s fighting in and around Derna continues, sources were saying that some 25 people had died in Saturdays fighting. Beside the three suicide bombings, it now appears that at least one car bomb was also detonated in the town centre. Video posted on social media shows shattered shop fronts around a junction where a car bomb exploded. Another posting shows the grisly remains of a man said to have been one of the IS suicide bombers. Meanwhile, outside of the town, the Libyan Army claimed that it has been advancing on the IS-held Ras Al-Hilal, 45 kilometres to the west. Colonel Faraj Barasi recently appointed to head the army’s operations in Jebel Akhdar by HoR President Ageela Saleh Gwaider said that his men had taken positions from IS outside the town and were ready to attack Ras Al-Hilal itself. There have as yet been no social media messages from IS denying their apparently serious setbacks in Derna.

Gunmen stormed the Tunisian Consulate in Tripoli’s Nufleen district on Friday afternoon and seized ten members of staff. They are reported to include the deputy Consul-General, but this is unconfirmed. The gunman, allegedly members of the Medfaiyah Wal-Sewarigh Brigade, based in Tajoura and part of Libya Dawn, are reported to have taken the hostages in revenge for the refusal by a Tunisian appeal court to free a senior member of the group, however this is still not confirmed at this time.

Four soldiers from the 166 battalion were killed on Tuesday in clashes with IS militants around Al-Khaleej power plant in western Sirte. Reports say that IS has now taken the plant after the 166 battalion withdrew forces due to the lack of reinforcement.

An Italian doctor, Ignazio Scaravilli who was kidnapped last January in Libya has been freed and is in good health and spirits reports confirm.

On Sunday, the British government announced that it had decided to redirect some of the aid budget of its Department for International Development (DFID) into preventing illegal migration across the Mediterranean. Prime Minister David Cameron told British media at the G7 Summit in Germany that there was ‘’a need to do more to stop these people leaving their countries in the first place. We need to deal with the causes of this migration not simply with its consequences’’.

This week the NOC announced that Libya's oil production has reached half a million barrels a day and gas production has amounted to 200 thousand cubic meters per day.

Extra vigilance and anti-surveillance drills should be adopted when arriving into and leaving out of Tripoli Mitiga airport due to the risk of IS sympathisers picking up on your presence and following you to your safe villa and office locations.

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 Al Aziah and other surrounding areas where fighting is still ongoing between the Zintan (LNA) and Misrata (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 pack-age 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 at some point in the future.

SNE remains fully operational on the ground within Tripoli, where our mixed British and Libyan 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 stabilises and allows for travel.

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.

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