The security situation in Tripoli is projected to remain stable, although there is an ongoing risk of sporadic clashes between former rebel militias and involving elements suspected of being sympathetic to former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
In both Benghazi and Tripoli there is an ongoing risk of demonstrations by those frustrated by the lack of visible improvements to their daily lives since the end of the conflict and liberation of the country.
Although the new government is seen as broadly representative of the Libyan population, and the majority of major players have voiced their support for it, there is an ongoing risk that some elements will feel aggrieved at their lack of representation, leading to demonstrations and protests in the country’s major urban areas.
There is an ongoing risk of clashes and increased tensions in the centre of the country around the towns of Bin Jawad, Sirte, Bani Walid and Ras Lanuf, which were among the last to be liberated by rebel forces.
Dehiba Border Clashes
Tunisia closed all its border crossing points with Libya on 4 December following clashes between militiamen and border guards at the Dehiba border crossing, which leads to the Nafusa Mountains region of the country. The main crossing at Ras Ajidir was also closed following the clash, which led deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur to promise measures will be put in place to secure both crossings. The clash again highlights the level of lawlessness in the country, and the danger of having so many armed militia groups unaccountable to a central government body.
The security situation in Tripoli remains stable. AKE sources on the ground have reported a number of incidents involving skirmishes and sustained gunfire, however, these reports could not be confirmed. AKE assesses that there is an ongoing risk of clashes between rival militia groups, or involving elements sympathetic to former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Meanwhile, around 100 protestors surrounded a Tunisair aircraft at Mitiga airport on 26 November and prevented it from taking off. The protestors were from the Souq al-Juma district of Tripoli, and were attempting to force the government to open an investigation into a recent clash in Bani Walid, in which several members of the Souq al-Juma militia were killed. There was no sign of violence during the incident, even although some of the protestors were reportedly armed, however the incident highlights the risk of cases of lawlessness in the city.
There have been a number of reports of demonstrations in different parts of the city by workers demanding better working conditions. Healthcare workers, media professionals and employees of the naval base were among those protesting, calling for an end to administrative corruption and better working conditions. There is an ongoing risk of strikes and demonstrations, which, although so far peaceful, have the potential to become violent. Personnel are advised to avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place, which could be outside local government buildings, in industrial areas of the city and outside hotels housing international media personnel.
AKE assess that the security situation in Benghazi is positive, however, the risk of petty crime is an ongoing cause for concern.
Alan Fraser is a Libya specialist with AKE, a British risk mitigation company working in Libya throughout the crisis. You can access AKE’s intelligence website Global Intake here.