The gas exports to Italy from Mellitah have still not resumed contrary to previous reports. The Petroleum Facilities Guard remains undermanned and poorly trained and this state of affairs is not being helped by using militia manpower to supplement it. This is a sector-wide issue and again draws attention to the need for urgent reform of the security sector.
An uneasy peace reigns in Mizdah, following on from last week’s sustained clashes and tribal violence between Mashahia and Qantrar tribes. The ICRC has been delivering aid to the area with the Libyan Red Crescent which has displaced more than 3,000 people.
Gulf of Sidra, Cyrenaica and Benghazi
A large nail bomb was found at Sirte hospital on Wednesday. It is thought that this was an attempt to assassinate the commander of the Qardabiya Martyrs Unit guarding the hospital, Makhlouf Ben Nasser Ferjani. Fortunately it was successfully defused.
Also on Wednesday the Benghazi council headquarters was stormed by youths this week demanding financial recompense for having provided security across the City during the 17 February anniversary celebrations. The authorities are unlikely and unwilling to accept their demands but again it points to the lawless nature of the city. And it is no surprise that the no travel warning to Benghazi remains in place for all westerners from their governments.
As part of attempts to lessen the border congestion it was announced that Libya and Egypt were to open consulates across the joint border at Mersa Matruh and Tobruk respectively. This should speed up the visa process for those two nationalities that make up the lion’s share of the border traffic considerably.