This week has been calm in security terms across the country with the Prime Minister continuing to seek to reassure the wider populace and international community that he understands and is dealing with the security challenges. In line with that he has made a number of speeches on security and the Ministry of the Interior has also issued a strong edict that it will not tolerate armed groups outside the state security apparatus.
The one area of the armed forces that is effective are Libyan Special Forces – Thunderbolt – and they continue to be used where there has been the need for reliable, well-trained and effective use of force such as in Benghazi following the Libya Shield shootings. Their utility was reinforced this week with a call put out by the Chief of Staff’s office for all Special Forces reservists to mobilise and join their units. This is one of the first concrete signs that some Security Sector Reform is underway in Libya.
The airport road in Tripoli has been quiet this week with no sign of the recent battles between the Misuratans and Zintanis. A property dispute lay at the heart of the recent battles illustrating how relatively minor domestic issues can quickly escalate.
The assassination campaign in the east also continues against members of the armed forces, this week with the assassination of two Air Force colonels – one in Benghazi and one in Derna.
Finally, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court rejected Libya’s request to suspend the surrender of Saif Gaddafi to it. In a brief statement the Appeals Chamber cited that it was not convinced by the reasons provided by the Libyans as to why the surrender of Saif Gaddafi to the Court would create for the Libyan Government a situation that was difficult to correct.
Tripolitania (Western Libya)
Calm seems to have returned to Tripoli’s Hay Al-Zohour district on the Airport Road, after clashes between armed groups left two dead and four injured in recent weeks. The fighting was between elements of the Misurata Brigade and a group tasked with protecting the neighbourhood from the Zintan Brigade.
Cyrenaica (Eastern Libya)
Again this week officers of the armed were assassinated in a continuing targeted campaign. Colonel Fathi Al-Aamami of the air force was shot dead in the eastern city of Derna on Monday and then on Thursday Colonel Aqeela Mailoud Al-Abaidi, head of the Search and Rescue Department at the Air Force Chief of Staff office was kidnapped and then found dead on Friday In Benghazi.
Many of the cities across Libya have suffered from a spate of bank robberies in recent weeks but in Benghazi this week the authorities struck back with Special Forces arresting 5 men and recovering a significant amount of money taken following a robbery in the city.
Fezzan (South-western Libya)
Nothing of note to report.