By Tripoli Operations Manager, SNE Special Projects.
The Warshefana area of Western Libya has witnessed a decrease in fighting this last week between government forces and suspected Pro-Gaddafi and criminal elements. The preceding week had seen intense fighting for several days from Najila and Western Janzour which resulted in combatant and civilian deaths.
The government forces have been gaining ground daily and their opponents have been pushed much further West. The use of rockets and mortars in the fighting resulted in power cables and transformers being damaged, which further impaired the electrical supply to the city.
To the south in the area of Sabha the conflict between Pro-Gaddafi supporters, Militias’ from Zintan and Misrata again lasted for several days, with the local airport being held and all air traffic stopped. In addition the road leading from Hun to Sabha was closed and town’s en-route were locked down by Misratian forces.
In Benghazi the on-going campaign aimed against current and former Government forces officers continues with several being killed by IED’S and drive by shootings. Kidnappings of family members has also occurred which caused additional fighting in the city. Sarir power station has witnessed fighting between the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) in the Sarir area who are largely Tebu and the local army brigade 427 who are mainly from the Zwai tribe.
These two groups have been involved in many clashes historically. The shelling by the Army has caused significant damage to the power plant which has now impacted on the power supply to Ajdabiya and Sirte. This in turn has affected water supplies as pumps do not have enough electric to work at capacity.
SNE assesses that travel to Libya is still possible but advises that stringent security and travel management plans are in place. An itinerary specific pre-travel risk assessment including mitigation measures are recommended. Travel to desert and border areas, between cities and major urban centres may require additional security support.
In-country personnel should be confident in their evacuation procedures and crisis management plans. Crime remains one of the biggest risks to foreign personnel operating on the ground and the risk is assessed to be at its highest in outlying areas of the cities, particularly after last light when travel is not recommended.
SNE can assist clients with pre entry risk assessments, on the ground physical support, safe discreet transportation, accommodation/business centre and risk management services throughout the region with villas and offices in both Tripoli & Benghazi.