Weekly Security Report by Janus Global Operations 25 October 2016

Tensions seem to have eased slightly after the previous week’s so called “coup” when the General National Congress and its Salvation Government took the Rixos Headquarters where the UN-brokered High Council of State had been located. The Head of the UNSMIL and the UN delegate to Libya, Martin Kobler, called all the conflicting parties and armed groups in the capital to be responsible for the safety of the people and the well-being of their country by reaching a peaceful solution over the struggle for power. Kobler said that prolonged talks were held with the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, Fayez Al-Serraj, in Tripoli, discussing the necessary ways for Libya to move on. He also reinforced that the UN totally supports the GNA and Presidential Council which were brokered by the UN. A number of Brigades and infantry forces paraded at the weekend on the streets of Tripoli and in the vicinity of the guest palaces where the High Council of State is located to show support for the General National Congress (GNC), everything passed without incident.

Libya`s economic future received a lift as it was reported that oil production has risen to 580,000 to 600,000 barrels per day (bpd). Es Sider port is set to resume exports in the coming weeks, with the first cargo potentially being lifted by Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC). This would be the first cargo lifted since force majeure was declared in December 2014.

Migration has continued to dominate the news as rescuers came to the aid of 3,300 migrants and refugees off the coast of Libya with 24 operations on Friday. Around 2,400 migrants were rescued and 14 dead bodies pulled from the water on Saturday. The Libyan coastguard received criticism as it was reported that they attacked a migrant boat packed with some 150 migrants, beating them with sticks and causing many to fall into the water and at least four to drown. The coastguard denies the accusations.

Tripoli and the west has again seen an increase in activity, but not to the predicted escalation that was rumoured after last week’s political moves. Two public figures were kidnapped within the city centre along with armed clashes on the outskirts and additional checkpoints being raised. This does not seem to have affected the public mood as schools and universities have reopened. To the west of the city, heavy clashes took place in Surman after the Tripoli-based Special Deterrence Force attempted to storm a building to arrest a known criminal.

In Khoms, clashes occurred between criminal gangs within the city on Wednesday evening which resulted in a gang member being killed. Further along the coast, unidentified men detonated devices on two docked trawlers in the port of Misrata on Sunday morning which are believed to of contained weapons and munitions.

As the fighting continues in Sirte, the number of militants that remain is unclear. Abandoned houses have revealed some of their defences, with household fridges being packed with earth act as reinforcements and bunkers dug under foundations offer protection from air strikes. On Thursday, pro-government forces killed at least 20 IS fighters as they pushed into the 600 District of Sirte. Ghiza Bahriya is believed to be the last pocket of resistance which is an area less than one square kilometre. On Thursday, reports suggest forces freed five foreign nationals in the same advance and a further 11 Eritrean female captives as well as 1 Turkish and an Egyptian who were discovered on Saturday. The forces continue to be backed up by US air strikes who reported that over 330 airstrikes have taken place since August.

Benghazi has seen an increase in attacks this week as General Haftar’s Dignity Operation renewed its bombardment of the Ganfouda area. This was backed up by airstrikes with at least 2 militants being killed. In response ISIS shelled LNA positions using SPG-9 and Heavy Machine Gun in Al Qawarishah. Further east, in the remote desert village of Al Jaghbub, thirteen members of Sudan’s Dafuri rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), are reported to have been killed on Thursday after being attacked by a Salafist militia from Kufra.

 

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.

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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]

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