Weekly Security Report 1 November 2016

Internal dialogue has been the key feature this week as the political parties seem to have moved into a reconciliation period. No further information has been disseminated after the coup a fortnight ago and the next steps are eagerly awaited as the UK and the US hold an international summit in London. British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson is hosting crisis talks with the Libyan prime minister to tackle the political standoff preventing Tripoli’s UN-brokered unity government from expanding its authority outside the capital. Also in attendance is the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, the meeting comes as Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Seraj faces stiff resistance to his leadership. Representatives from France, Italy, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are also attending the talks.

Libya`s economic future remains fragile as the Government of National Accord (GNA) are struggling to control Libya's finances even after a recovery in oil production raised the prospect of economic pressures easing. During the past week frustration has spilled over into renewed street unrest and a public squabble between Prime Minister Fayez Seraj and Central Bank Governor, Sadiq al-Kabir over who is to blame for acute cash shortages in the banks. Oil production recently doubled to nearly 600,000 barrels per day after eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar seized key oil ports from a rival faction and let the NOC reopen them.

This week saw the start of a three-month training program for the Libyan coastguard. The training of 78 members are sponsored by the EU as part of its anti-smuggling operation “Sophia”. Meanwhile, EU and Non-commercial organisations continued with the daily rescue of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean. On Friday, a Libyan oil tanker recovered 90 migrants at sea which adds to the 3,800 people that have been reported dead or missing so far this year, already surpassing last year’s totals.

Armed clashes have continued in the west most notably in Zawiya.  The fighting involved local bitter rivals, the Ahneish and Khadrawi families. It is understood that the cause was due to 3 men from Zawiya who were killed earlier in the week. The fighting escalated over the two days with armed gunmen from the Saqr tribe, supporting the Khadrawis, deploying in armoured vehicles and two tanks to attack locations belonging to Ahneish. Both Presidency Council member Musa Koni and UN special envoy Martin Kobler have expressed their concern about the situation in Zawiya. Six people are reported to have been killed and many more injured. In Tripoli, gunfire in the Abu-Salim area and near Al-Hadide Bridge near the at Airport road has continued throughout the period but with no real purpose and no casualties reported. Within the city centre, 4 masked men kidnapped Tripoli University professor Dr Oman Alam in Salah al-Din district.

Government Forces in Sirte have continued to suppress their objectives as they enter the Giza al-Bahriya district, the last IS stronghold in Sirte. The offensive is encountering fierce resistance from two directions from heavy weapons with one fighter being reportedly killed. Some residential buildings had been retaken as concerns grow of women and children trapped inside the area with no real means of escape at this time.

A car exploded late on Saturday in the eastern city of Benghazi killing 4 people and wounding at least 14 others. Among those killed in the attack in the city's central Keesh district was Mohamed Bugaighis, who headed an anti-corruption body. Bugaighis was a well-known supporter of the Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar. The bodies of 10 men who appear to have been tortured and shot dead have been found in Benghazi’s Shabna district.

In the south, two bombs are reported to have been dropped on the remote south eastern Tebu oasis of Rebyana. A light border reconnaissance aircraft based at Kufra is said to have been used. The incident follows a warning from Kufra military commander that any violations of the law at the airport by members of the local community would be punished as the airport recently reopened.

 

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 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.

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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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