Weekly Security Report by Janus Global Operations 24 January 2017

This week’s politics saw the 10th Ministerial Meeting of Neighbouring Countries of Libya with participation of African Union, Arab League and UN representatives held in the Egyptian capital Cairo.  The delegates issued a joint communique stressing the need to support the Presidential Council of the Government of National Accord in resolving conflicts and strengthening Libya’s institutions based on previous agreements, with respect for Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, while rejecting any foreign military intervention that violates Libya’s sovereignty or adopted agreements and resolutions.

Plans to begin negotiations were announced by Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry for direct talks between the leaders of rival Libyan authorities could soon be underway, after regional attempts to bring the warring factions together began on Saturday. Field Marshall Hafter’s agreement to meet with PM Sarraj is a good sign, according to the FM. Yet, he believes that it is important for the meeting to be held without discretion and wishes the parties would be ready to move into a better phase that serves the Libyan people and maintain its unity and stability.

The head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) deployed in the ports, said the oil and gas network in the whole of the eastern region, from Libya's eastern and southern borders with Egypt, Sudan and Chad, to the central region of Sirte, was now secured. Officials at major ports in the eastern Oil Crescent say they are hoping foreign workers will soon return as they struggle to build on output gains with meagre resources. The lifting of a long blockade at the ports helped Libya's oil output to more than double to over 600,000 barrels per day (bpd). Last month, another blockade was ended at a pipeline in western Libya, pushing production to more than 700,000 bpd.

In Tripoli, Italy’s foreign minister reported that all staff are safe at the recently opened embassy after a car bomb detonated late on Saturday night in the vicinity of the Italian and Egyptian embassies. Two unidentified bodies were recovered from inside of the burnt vehicle. This is the first attack of its kind since last September.

Armed clashes took place over the weekend in the area of airport road which saw heavy artillery and vehicle mobilised in the area. In Khoms, a Military council member was shot and killed in a village in close proximity to the power station. This led to further clashes during the week which resulted in a house burnt and vehicles damaged.

Sirte has remained quiet as displaced families start to return to their homes under the guidance of the security forces. Meanwhile on Wednesday, approx. 45 kilometres southwest of the city, a US aerial attack by B2 Stealth bombers dropped around 100 bombs on Daesh training camps killing at least 80 militants who were actively plotting operations in Europe. The Pentagon emphasised that the strike was conducted in full coordination with the GNA.

In the east, the Libyan National Army (LNA) troops captured the south-western district of Bosnaib from fighters loyal to Islamic State following a two-day assault backed by heavy weaponry and air strikes. A medical official said 25 LNA troops were killed and 45 wounded in the latest fighting. This area is one of the last pockets of resistance held by Islamist-dominated opponents in Benghazi.  A car bomb detonated in Benghazi killing one person and wounding 13, including former interior minister Ashour Shuwail. The powerful explosion outside a mosque in Benghazi's central Al-Majouri district after Friday prayers wrecked a number of cars and charred nearby buildings. The south of the city saw little change from previous reporting as LNA jets targeted militant positions in Qafundah and Sabri on Friday.  The following day, forces shelled insurgents in the same area of south Benghazi as LNA forces and Shura Council militants clashed. Derna saw a resurgence in incidents as aircraft belonging to the Libyan National Army (LNA) once again attacked late Tuesday. Several sites belonging to the powerful local Abu Sleem brigade are said to have been hit, mainly weapons depots. The previous day one boat that was reportedly attempting to deliver supplies to Derna was hit outside the port by a navy craft manned by the LNA.

 

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