By Gary Sandiford, Olive Group’s Dubai based assessments manager. Olive Group is a leading provider of security and technology solutions and has been operating in Libya since mid 2011.
There remains a degree of uncertainty over when and where Saif al-Islam Qadhafi will stand trial. Conflicting reports by several government officials have increased the speculation that Saif will be tried in Zintan, where he has been held since his capture in November 2011. Libya’s official news agency reported that the Zintan Local Council elections took place on 23 August, with a 45% voter turnout.
The Libya Herald reported that clashes broke out in Tarhuna southeast of Tripoli late on 21 August. Separate reports claimed that tanks and missile launchers were also seized from barracks belonging to a pro-Qadhafi militia in the Tarhuna area. Armed clashes between tribal groups were also reported in Zliten, southeast of Tripoli and two Sufi shrines were also reported to have been badly damaged by Salafists in Zliten and Tripoli. These incidents along with the recent spikes in violence in the west of the country were cited as the reason for the resignation of the Libyan Interior Minister on 26 August. Activity in the capital has been relatively subdued since the car-bombs during Eid al-Fitr a week ago. Media reports have claimed the reemergence of ‘technical’s’ at checkpoint around the city and the arrest of a number of individuals in connection with the sale of surface to air missiles.
Activity in the east of the country has been relatively subdued during this week. A conference held in Sirte by the Al Maadan tribe called for a general amnesty for all who fought in the war and for controls on the spread of weapons in the country. Benghazi’s HSC coordinator reported that a number of arrests had been made in connection with the bomb attack on an Egyptian diplomat’s car in Benghazi on 20 August and the Iranian Foreign Minister said that he was confident that positive news would soon be announced in regard to the seven Iranian Red Crescent workers who were abducted in Benghazi on 31 July.