The Head of the UN Libya, envoy Martin Kobler stated this week that the support for the UN backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is “crumbling” in the country as a result of mounting social and economic challenges. Despite the unity government’s key and ongoing victories over the Islamic State group in Sirte, support for the Prime Minister is declining back home due to continuing power cuts and the collapsing dinar.
Martin Kobler himself, has also been criticised by the foreign minister of the Libyan interim government in Tobruk under Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani, calling for the UN Envoy to be replaced with a ”more neutral and efficient figure”.
The Libyan economy has continued to headline the week as the United States, France and Britain said in a joint statement on Wednesday they were concerned by mounting tension around the Zueitina oil terminal. Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Sunday that it was concerned by reports of “imminent conflict” in the vicinity of Zueitina between the PFG and the Libyan National Army (LNA), which are loyal to the eastern government. It is clear that restarting oil exports is crucial for generating revenues needed to provide for the essential needs of the Libyan people, notably electricity, healthcare and infrastructure.
Continued International military backing from western allies was this week confirmed by the US Pentagon when they admitted American troops are providing “unique capabilities,” including “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance along with precision air strikes, that will help enable GNA aligned forces to make a decisive, strategic advance.” At the same time, it is understood that the French have withdrawn their support to the eastern Commander General Hafter. France had promised to halt its Benghazi operations after Tripoli complained to the French ambassador about “blatant interference”.
Tripoli and the west of Libya has seen an upsurge in armed clashes throughout the city most notably in the Al-Seyaheyya, Ain Zara and Airport road areas. Haitham Tajouri sent his Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade militia to attack predominantly the Misratan intelligence personnel in the capital. It is unclear what has prompted the controversial militia leader’s actions and there has been no response from the Presidency Council just as there was no public reaction when Tajouri’s men took over the health ministry building last week.
The United States had carried out sustained air attacks targeting Islamic State fighting positions, vehicles and weapons in Sirte. Libyan forces engaged in renewed clashes with Islamic State militants in Sirte on Thursday, a day after capturing a convention complex that had been a symbol of the militant group’s authority in the city. The gains come after weeks of house-to-house fighting in residential areas, with sniper fire, IED`s, trip wires and landmines slowing the advance.
Benghazi and the east of Libya saw twenty three Egyptian workers that had been held for ten days released this week. They were kidnapped near the oil town of Brega, it’s believed the ransom was purely for financial gain. Five Sudanese civilians were killed during clashes between LNA and militants in Qanfudah on Sunday. Predator drones conducted airstrikes in Qanfudah, this week as a report suggest that four family members were killed and five others were also wounded in the attack. Derna was targeted on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with airstrikes engaging suspected Shura Council vehicles and gatherings near Al Zahar area.
The south of Libya saw some activity with reports of armed clashes lasting six hours in the vicinity of En Naga oil field in Al Jufrah District Gunmen from the Benghazi Defence Brigades (Saraya Bengahzi/BDB) attacked a unit from the Libyan National Army. General Haftar, has appointed an eleven man committee to negotiate with tribes and elders in the south of the country, Fezzan, to end the instability there. The committee, made up of southerners, is also charged with creating a united army out of the various militias in the region.
Janus Global Operations continues to keep our permanent expat country management team on the ground in Tripoli supporting our client’s international and local personnel as well as critical infrastructure. We are also currently involved in working with many of our clients on their re-entry planning, security risk management surveys and political sector analysis. To discuss these services further please contact us on the details below.
Libya Security Report Subscription Service
Janus Global Operations Libya Security Summaries are only supplied to existing Libya clients and those who subscribe to our weekly reporting service. For further information on how to subscribe and our monthly costs, please contact our Dubai management team at [email protected]. The attached Libya security update has been produced by our Tripoli based in-country management team and covers the various security risks, recent incidents, political landscape and geography in both the west and east of Libya.
HEAT & Basic Life Support Two Day Training Courses
Janus Global Operations are now offering bespoke Libya oriented or generic MENA Hostile Environment Awareness & Basic Life Support Medical Training Courses in Dubai or your home country prior to deploying back into Libya, or in country training for those who require this service in Tripoli. Please contact our Dubai Head Office for more information on these courses at [email protected]