Weekly Security Report by SNE Special Projects 2 February 2016

Another politically driven week in Libya saw the General National Congress (GNC) fire twelve of its candidates for long absences from the GNC sittings and also possible travel bans and asset freezes being imposed by the EU if Khalifa Ghwell continues to block attempts to form a Government of National Accord.

On the other side of the political coin the Tobruk Parliament dissolved its dialogue team which had represented the parliament in the UN Sponsored dialogue, and then decide to select another one next week. The Tobruk parliament also refused to give confidence to the cabinet of the UN imposed government and demanded that article eight of the additional provisions of the political accord be cancelled.

The UN envoy Martin Kobler however remained positive and stated that ‘’the UN is not yet looking at sanctions against Libya figures viewed as trying to sabotage the Libyan Political Agreement” he also insisted that the HoR could not at this point make any changes to the Libyan Political Agreement signed in Skhirat and approved by the UN Security Council last month.

Whilst in Italy and for the first time, one of the likely participants in an assault on Daesh in Libya has said that ‘’the attack could go ahead even if a Unity Government is not found and does not request the action’’.

Italy’s defence minister, Roberta Pinotti told an Italian newspaper that the anti-Daesh coalition members had all agreed that Daesh propaganda would protest another Western invasion, unless the new Government of National Accord asked for help to take on the terrorists.

Tripoli saw the Abu Sleem Police arrest of a man suspected of trying to plant a device outside of the Sudanese Embassy in the Gergarish district of the capital. The device apparently contained two hundred grams of explosives, however the device failed to detonate.  The Police later said that the man, a Libyan from the Gergarish area, had said he had been paid by an unnamed man to plant the device.

Also in Tripoli and after over two months without carrying out regular return flights from Malta to Mitiga, the Maltese charter company Medavia resumed flights on Monday and a schedule of flights for Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, being published.

On Saturday the area of Bin Ghashir saw renewed fighting between Misrata Militia and Marghani Militia and consequently lead to road closures in the area. Initial reports suggested that a Misrata Militia member had shot and wounded a man, which appears to have caused the exchanges of gunfire. On Sunday, reports were received that the clashes had resumed which lead to around ten casualties. It transpired later that the elders of the area were planning to issue a statement calling all Misratans to leave the area.

Unidentified aircraft in the east were reported to have conducted airstrikes on known Daesh positions in Sirte during the reporting week. Locals from the area reported that the Daesh militants disappeared from their positions whilst the airstrikes were taking place.

Benghazi saw the Libyan National Army (LNA) conduct several security operations against militant positions in the areas of Laithi, Sabri and Qar Younis and residents continue to report heavy artillery explosions in the area.

Unconfirmed reports this morning (Tuesday) that Daesh had seized Albuirat a small village on the road to Misrata. It is unclear if the village was taken from occupying Misratan Militias after a fight or if the village had been left undefended.

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