Weekly Security Report by SNE Special Projects 23 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.

As Libya started the holy month of Ramadan on the 18 June the atmospherics and general feelings in Tripoli have been positive with lots of talk about whether the peace accord which has been agreed between the various groups in the west of the country can be replicated across Libya as whole. Tripoli was still suffering from daily power outages as it went into Ramadan with a clear need for more power during this month.

The Deputy US Secretary of State Tony Blinken told the Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Thinni that Washington views Draft No. 4 presented to members of the UN-brokered Dialogue, as the best solution to the present Libyan crisis and while not perfect, should be supported. In a telephone conversation, he said that the political situation had to be resolved now so that attention could be focused on the threat from terrorism and IS across the country. According to a US official, Blinken also assured Thinni that the US would work very closely with the Libyan government in the fight against terrorism and to ensure the country’s security and safety was preserved.

A group of Libyan lawyers, diplomats, political activists, doctors and businessmen from towns across the country has called for the restoration of the 1951 constitution and for Prince Idris Al-Senussi to become interim head of state. At a meeting yesterday in Barcelona hosted by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Toledo International Centre for Peace (CITPax), the group said that Libya was dangerously split and that too many post-revolution figures were unable to put its interests above those of their community or themselves. In the situation, they declared, the country urgently needed an interim head of state who was not linked to any of its present divisions and disputes and who could act as a focus of unity and loyalty for all Libyans.

Misrata has warned that anyone trying to carry goods into IS areas will be executed. The Misrata Revolutionary Fighters’ Operations Room warned: “Anyone who sends food supplies, mobile prepaid cards or ammunition to IS, or gets involved in acts of espionage for this group will be executed”. It has also announced that it is tightening security by extending its curfew and imposing an overnight closure of the three gates around the town. These will now be closed from 10pm until 7am in the morning. The Operations Room has also banned foreigners from driving within the town between midnight and 7am. The ban on foreigners driving at night comes almost three weeks after the Operations Room decreed that only foreigners with valid permits could stay in Misrata. The latest clampdown follows two major suicide attacks, first against the Sadada checkpoint in the east of the town in April in which six died and 21 were injured and then on 02 June against the western checkpoint at Dafniya in which a further six people were killed.

The locally organised peace process in the west of the country is reported to have reached a new milestone with a deal between Zintan and the west Tripoli suburb of Janzour. Under the deal, said to have been agreed on Sunday night by both municipal councils and mediated with the help of local elders, the two decided to end hostilities between themselves. According to the Colonel Idris Madi, who heads the Libyan National Army’s Western Operations Room in Zintan, the agreement would also allow the LNA to move into Janzour.

The east of the Libya continues to remain unstable with reports on Sunday that there has been an airstrike on the IS headquarters in Sirte in which it is being claimed at least 16 people died. In Benghazi reports stated that on Monday of a booby trap which killed five soldiers in Benghazi. The men were entering a building in Suq Al-Hoot when a hidden landmine was detonated.

The battle for Derna continues with reports coming out of IS fighters appearing to have taken heavy casualties in a daylong battle on Saturday with the Libyan army outside of Derna. At least 15 IS fighters were reported killed and many others injured and captured.

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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