Gulf of Sidra and Cyrenaica
In Ajdabiyah there were clashes between the Al-Qadhaffa and the Al-Mughariba tribes from 22-23 July, with no casualties identified. The clashes broke out after members of the Al-Mugharbia tribe opposed the return of some members of the Al-Qadhaffa tribe to their homes. (Ajdabiyah was the scene of intense fighting during the anti-Qadhafi uprisings, resulting in significant bad blood between pro- and anti-Qadhafi tribes).
Press Solidarity reported a graduation in Ajdabiya of new recruits into the High Security Committee that will be charged with securing most of the Gulf of Sirte, from Ajdabiyah to Sirte.
In Benghazi there were no major clashes in the past week. The Libyan Human Rights Observatory condemned a 19 July attack on a camp for displaced Tawargans in Gar Younes, Benghazi. No casualties were reported, indicating this to have been a less serious intimidation attack. On 19 July Benghazi Local Council security coordinator, Mohammed Al-Taib, said that traffic police will return during the month of Ramadan to Benghazi’s streets. In post-conflict societies the status of traffic police is usually a good test of the level to which the rule of law has been restored: if the Benghazi traffic police are ignored, or worse yet intimidated off the streets, this may be an indicator that true stability has not yet been achieved. If the traffic police function effectively, this would be a very good sign.
More indicators continue to emerge from Dernah regarding the development of Salafi institutions. As reported last week, the local High Security Committee is now comprised of a local Salafi brigade, the Abu Salim Martyrs' Brigade, which is known for its ties to more radical Salafi groups like the Ansar Al-Sharia. Salafi television and radio stations are developing rapidly, with foreign backing in many cases. It also appears that fighters from Dernah, Bayda and nearby areas make up the bulk of the foreing fighter elements travelling to Syria to assist the insurgency there. The Libyan Media Center distributed a picture of five fighters posing in front of a black Salafi flag before their departure. Unverified internet sources have claimed that 375 fighters from Ghat, Al-Shaal, Dernah, and Al-Seraj may have left for Syria on 18 July.
In far eastern Libya numerous reported surfaced in the last week concerning the trade of weapons and other contraband across the Egyptian border. On 18 July there were two reported clashes on the border. In one, Egyptian forces clashed with inbound smugglers from Libya close to the Salloum border crossing. Three smugglers were arrested whilst transporting seven military small arms and 50,000 packets of Tramadol, an addictive pain-reliever. Later the same day a a car carrying Egyptian migrants was fired upon by Libyan brigades while illegally entering Libya, the third time in less than two months this has happened. WithinEgyptthe security forces announced numerous interceptions of weaponry and other contraband fromLibyaincluding 90 surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, small arms ammunition, two sniper rifles, 1,380,000 doses of Tramadol. The missiles were on a truck driving fromLibyatoPort Said, probably destined for the international arms market.