On the political front, the House of Representatives has told a United Nations panel of experts that the UN arms embargo has to be lifted and that the current situation had made an already difficult situation in Libya worse. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon appointed panel of expert’s main function is to ascertain if the UN arms embargo is being flouted. Steven Spittaels’ six-man panel met with various members of the HoR including members of other committees to discuss the difficulties in fighting terrorism, given the lack of arms and equipment. Other topics were discussed, such as the current cash crisis and oil sales income.
The Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Seraj was in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh this week attending the African summit. Whilst in Marrakesh, Seraj met with the French President, Francois Hollande, and discussed the French assisting with the training of the presidential guard, cooperation on security and the fight in Libya against the so-called Islamic State (IS). During the talks, Seraj also briefed Hollande on the current status of events in Libya.
This reporting week has seen the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Libya planning to almost double crude production next year even as the producer group tries to implement a deal to trim production and ease the global supply glut. OPEC has been working to boost production and exports since the NOC reached an agreement in September of this year with the HoR aligned military commander of the Armed Forces, Khalifa Haftar who currently controls important oil ports. As a result, the Ras Lanuf port on 21 September this year, saw the first International shipment of 780,000 barrels of crude oil, the first since force majeure was declared in December 2014.
After six months of heavy fighting, it has now been reported that Libyan forces aligned to the GNA have advanced so deep into the strategic city of Sirte that they can pick out the Tunisian and Egyptian accents of their Islamic State enemies as they trade insults over the frontline. Victory is said to be imminent, with the last militants holding out in a small one kilometre area in the districts of 600, 527 and 528.
Tripoli has remained relatively quiet throughout the reporting week with no major security incidents of note. Power cuts that have plagued the capital in recent months appear to have almost diminished, with very few power cuts being recorded in over five weeks. Az Zawiya however has continued to see a surge in security related incidents.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) early this week launched a new offensive operation in the Guwarsah and Ganfouda district of Benghazi. For the last two years, the LNA have continued to try and extend its grip on the port city and dislodge the Islamist dominated forces. This week however saw twenty LNA soldiers killed and up to forty injured in armed clashes within the area. Further reports indicated that a car bombing in the eastern part of the city, had left fourteen civilians wounded.
In the southwestern Fezzan region, airstrikes were carried out targeting Islamist militants in Gardah, to the northwest of Sabha. Three houses were bombed in the strikes, destroying two and damaging a third. Sabha has also seen heavy clashes between two rival tribes, Awlad Suleiman and Qaddafa. The latter being the tribe that former ruler Muammar Gadaffi came from. It is believed that the fighting started over a monkey biting a tribesman. Seven people were reported to have been killed and many civilians injured in the clashes. Relatively empty streets and closed stores have been reported in the Mansheya neighbourhood as elders, sheikhs, and dignitaries attempt to resolve the dispute.
Janus Global Operations continues to keep our permanent expat country management team on the ground in Tripoli supporting our clients’ 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]