Weekly Security Report By SNE 31 March 2015

SNE Special Projects have operated within Libya since the revolution of 2011 and are a fully licensed security provider working with our Libyan partner company. We have kept our permanent British & Libyan Country Management Team in Tripoli throughout the last few difficult months, supporting our clients staff and critical infrastructure and offering up to date, regular and accurate reporting throughout this period. We are now in a strong position to advise and support our clients as they look to plan their re-entry back into Libya as and when the current situation stabilises and allows for remobilization. We have a vast amount of experience of supporting clients from the media, telecoms, power generation & NGO sectors. For more information on our services within Libya please email us at [email protected]

SNE Libya Security Summary

UN special envoy Bernardino Leon was in an upbeat mood as the UN-brokered talks in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat were again adjourned to allow the delegates from the House of Representatives (HoR) and the General National Congress (GNC) to return to Tobruk and Tripoli respectively and discuss the latest proposals for interim political structures in Libya with their colleagues. They are supposed to return with agreement in around 10 days with for what will be the fourth session in Skhirat. “We have an agreement on the scope of issues, the scope of institutions, aspects we are going to deal with in the coming weeks,” he said claiming that “very important progress” had been made during the week and that the delegates had achieved far more than had been expected. The participants felt that they were getting very close to an agreement.

The Libyan Government (HoR) has been angered that the UN Arms Embargo has not yet been lifted, General Hefter claims he needs new supplies of weapons to fight terrorists in Libya and defeat the Deash / IS threat.

Libya Dawn forces tasked with retaking oil ports from PFG forces in Es Sidr and elsewhere have withdrawn to join the campaign against IS militants in Sirte and fight alongside the Misratan 166 Battalion. The decision to withdraw was part of an agreement with Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG). Meanwhile, elders and tribal leaders of Sirte met on Thursday to discuss the security situation in the city. They called for the armed groups to leave and spare Sirte the atrocities of war. Residents of Sirte are expected to hold a protest on Friday evening to show rejection to the armed groups and declare peace in their city.

LNA Fighter Jet dropped bombs in the Zuwarra area this week with reports that heavy ground fire allegedly caused the evasive action by the pilot. Zintan & Warsafana units claim they fired 3 x Grad Rockets into Zawia City killing and injuring Filipino Nurses. Zawia Centre was reportedly the scene of panic and the citizens were understandably were very angry, retributions were expected to follow this attack.

LNA demining units are working in the Sabri district of Benghazi following 8 months of fighting. 80% of buildings have been damaged and there are still numerous “booby-traps” inside homes and rooftop sniping is still on going by AAS. The Libya Red Crescent Society has delivered 47 boxes of vital Medical Aid to Benghazi’s beleaguered Hospitals.

The UN Commission for Human Rights (UNCHR) says Human Rights defenders in Libya are at a very real risk of murder and threats to themselves and families on a daily basis.

Libyan crude oil exports are up to 622,000 bpd according to NOC figures just released this week. The figure may surprise some analysts, only six weeks ago overall production had plunged to less than 275,000 barrels per day following attacks on oil fields, pipelines and the Sidra and Ras Lanouf export terminals. The Italian giant Eni is understood to be producing some 250,000 barrels of oil and gas equivalent through its fields El Fil and Wafa in the south west of Libya, pumped to Mellitah port in the north west of the country. Meanwhile, some 71,000 bpd is being produced by Sirte Oil Company and Agoco is currently producing some 290,000 bpd.

Tripoli is again currently suffering daily power-cuts of between 5 to 8 hours at a time since the 27 March.

A report emerged this week from the US that an American reservist soldier who was arrested at Chicago airport before boarding a flight to Egypt planned to join Islamic State militants in Derna, according to US Department of Justice documents. Hasan Edmonds, who lived in Illinois, was captured after inadvertently communicating with undercover FBI agents, with whom he shared his plans to join IS as a fighter. Although initially he told the agents he planned to go to Syria to fight with IS, in mid-March his plans changed and he said he would be heading to the town of Derna in Libya. He had planned to fly to Egypt and travel from there to Derna, buying return tickets to avoid raising suspicion.

Due to the current ongoing unstable and unpredictable security situation within Libya, SNE are recommending that at this moment in time clients only carry out business essential travel trips to Libya, these trips should only be undertaken within Tripoli city limits and no movement should be attempted in the hours of darkness or near certain flash point areas such as Tripoli International Airport and surroundings districts, GNC buildings and hotels known to be frequented by internationals which could prove to be flash points for further incidents.

Due to the attack on the Corinthia hotel in Tripoli on the 27 January, hotels in Tripoli are now being looked at again from a security perspective and for the time being we recommend only using safe accommodation which has been authorised for use.

Locally employed client staff within Libya should continually practice extra vigilance and caution regarding their personal security, in addition anything classed as suspicious should be reported to the SNE Security Tripoli Operations Manager at the first opportunity.

We are advising No movement to the western area of Libya in and around Kikla and Rujban and other surrounding areas where fighting is still ongoing between the Zintan and Libya Dawn militia groups. Sporadic fighting between rival tribal factions is also currently ongoing in the areas of Ubari, Sabha & Murzuq and we are advising our clients Not to travel to these southern areas at present.

We are still presently advising NO travel should be made to Benghazi until the current situation shows signs of stability and Operation Dignity forces have full control of the city and transportation methods of entering and leaving Benghazi are open again.

SNE are supporting our clients at present in Tripoli with business essential travel visits and are offering a full turnkey security risk management, safe transportation with secure accommodation and life support package based from our Tripoli villa.

The British FCO and US State Department are still advising against travel to Libya and are monitoring the security and political situation before considering remobilisation plans back into 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 requests and 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 and political 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. 

To discuss further how SNE can support your projects in Libya please contact us by email at [email protected] or call our Dubai office on +971 44561542 / +971 503786803

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