This last week has seen a lot of debate within Libya over the recent Supreme Court ruling which invalidated the House of Representatives (HoR), rumours have circulated since suggesting that the Supreme Court judges were replaced by a member of the self-declared National Salvation Government (NSG). The content of the ruling also remains in question, as the Supreme Court has not clarified the steps that should be taken. Nevertheless, the House of Representatives has rejected the ruling and continued to operate as normal, most recently voting to remove the country’s controversial Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadiq al Gharyani.
The NSG has attempted to extend its influence in the wake of the ruling, arguing that it is now the legitimate governing body in Libya. However, its control over its existing stronghold of Tripoli appears to be weakening, as protests against the NSG and the Libya Dawn militia coalition which backs it turned violent throughout the weekend in Tripoli’s central Fashloum and Zawiyat al Dahmani districts.
There was a car bomb attack in Shahat which appears to have targeted a meeting between Prime Minister Abdullah al Thinni and the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General Bernadino Leon which injured ten people.
Violence has also continued in Benghazi, particularly in the central and south-western districts, while several people are reported to have died over the weekend in fighting in the western Nafusa Mountains region. Continual fighting in Benghazi throughout the weekend, particularly in the south-west districts and those surrounding the port, as Libyan Army troops and their supporters remain locked in battle with Islamist-led Benghazi Shura Council forces. Intense fighting in Benghazi’s Laithi district has damaged a crucial Al-Madar mast, disrupting the mobile phone service provider’s coverage across the city.
Clashes have continued to sporadically erupt in the southern town of Obari since 05 November with several people reportedly being killed during violence on 09 November.
Due to the current ongoing unstable situation within Tripoli, SNE recommends that only business essential travel and movements should be undertaken within the Tripoli city limits at present and no movement should be attempted in the hours of darkness or near the area of Tripoli International Airport and surroundings areas which have been affected by the fighting.
We are supporting clients at present in Tripoli with business essential travel visits and are offering a full turnkey risk management and transportation with accommodation and life support package at our Tripoli villa.
We advise No movement in the western area of Libya in and around Kikla and Rujban and other surrounding areas where heavy fighting is still ongoing between the Zintan and Misrata militia groups.
SNE is still advising NO travel should be made to Benghazi until the current situation shows signs of stability. The British FCO and US State Department are advising against No travel to Libya.
SNE remains fully operational on the ground within Tripoli, where our British Country Management Team are able to support any of our existing and additional clients on request, or provide up to date accurate information and analysis on the ever changing situation to those clients who are currently out of country monitoring the situation with an aim to re-deploying when the security situation allows.
Before considering travel to Libya, an itinerary specific pre-travel risk assessment including mitigation measures are recommended. In-country personnel should be confident in their evacuation procedures and crisis management plans and in light of the current situation these should be checked and updated where necessary with the appropriate level of support in country to activate the plans when required.