Tripolitania and Tripoli
There were no serious security problems in Tripoli or northwestern Libya during the election period. Though the overall security situation in the capital remains relatively stable, recent month have seen an increase in petty crime such as theft and car-jacking. The risk of criminality to foreign personnel in the cities main commercial areas remains relatively low, the risk increases in some of the outlying regions particularly during the hours of darkness. Kidnappings related to commercial disputes or inter-militia politics are an ongoing risk to employees of foreign companies. Large-scale events - such as the militia seizure of Tripoli's international airport in early June or inter-communal violence between coastal towns - can develop without warning.
Gulf of Sidra and Cyrenaica
During the election period militia forces aligned to the federalist Interim Cyrenaica Council (ICC) maintained their road blocks on the coastal highway at Wadi Al-Ahmar, 100km east of the coastal city of Sirte. The road blocks served both symbolic and practical purposes: symbolically, the Wadi Al-Ahmar area is the recognized historic border between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. In practical terms, the road blocks were installed to pressure the government into making concessions on the distribution of seats in the election and the issue of the constitutional committee membership (see above). The blockade played havoc with national and international traffic, with hundreds of Egyptian trucks bottlenecked at the Wadi Al-Ahmar checkpoint. Trucks carrying oil, food, medical, and humanitarian supplies continue to be permitted through the road blocks. While NTC controlled forces have not responded to the road blocks, Tripoli may be forced to re-impose its authority on the main costal transit routes if they are maintained beyond the election period.
Alongside the road blocks, ICC-aligned militias also forced the closure of the oil exports in the Gulf of Sidra for 48 hours. On 6 July, unarmed delegations warned the management of four ports (Al-Sidra, Ras Lanuf, Brega, and Harouge) to cease operations. The stoppage was immediate; preventing oil tankers from entering or leaving port and halving Libya's exporting capacity. Due to shortfalls in oil storage capacity, the Libyan government reduced oil production by 300,000 barrels per day until the ports reopened on 8 July.
Following early July's ransacking of election offices in Benghazi and Tobruk, there was an arson attack on an Ajdabiya balloting warehouse on 5 July. The following day, 6 July, a helicopter carrying voting boxes came under fire near Benghazi, killing one National Electoral Office (NEO) official and wounding another. On election day an anti-election protester was shot dead at a voting station in Ajdabiya when he tried to steal a ballot box. Also on 7 July, federalists broke into a school containing voting materials in Benghazi and set them on fire as more than one hundred demonstrators chanted anti-election slogans.
Armed gangs also stormed polling stations in Ras Lanuf, Brega, Guba and Suluq.
The Libya Herald reported a C5 rocket (a 57mm aircraft-launched munition) and a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) were fired at the Benghazi Medical Center by unknown assailants on 6 July. Both projectiles missed their target.
Fezzan region (deep south)
After months of severe ethnic and tribal problems in Libya's deep south, both Sebha and al-Kufra were largely quiet during the election period. In al-Kufra, the oasis city calmed after the heavy clashes in late June, which pitted local Tabu fighters against the 'Shield of Libya Brigade,' a militia deployed to the area from the coastal areas of Cyrenaica. Voting in the southern towns was extended to allow last-minute registrations, with the Tripoli Post reporting two polling stations still open on 8 July in al-Kufra. According to the daily, residents of al-Kufra who had decided to boycott the elections appeared to have changed their minds once voting began on 7 July. Press Solidarity reported clashes between members of the National Army and the Al Mugariha tribe in Sebha on 8 July.
(Source: Olive Group)