AKE Libya Update, 22 June 2012

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AKE Libya Update, 22 June 2012
Released:  23/06/20122012-06-23
Word count:  974

The security situation in Tripoli remains relatively stable, although the risk of a sudden temporary deterioration in certain areas remains. A group of armed gunmen stormed the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi on 18 June, in protest against an art exhibition in Tunis, which they perceive as insulting to Islam. A high profile military prosecutor accused of involvement in the killing of former rebel commander Abdel Fatah Younis was shot dead in Benghazi on 21 June. In Derna, unconfirmed reports indicate that clashes took place this week involving national army forces. The government announced a new decree (decree248) that will ban foreign security companies from operating in Libya. Meanwhile, campaigning for Libya's first national election was expected to begin on 18 June ahead of the polls currently scheduled for 7 July.

Hind Bensari
Projections

Security in Tripoli will remain relatively positive, although there is little prospect of the central authorities being able to deploy a security force capable of mitigating against all threats in the near future. There is an ongoing risk of militia groups seizing vital infrastructure in the city. Although militant attacks have been largely restricted to Benghazi, there is also a risk of similar attacks on the assets of foreign governments and NGOs in Tripoli.

The risk of further attacks in Benghazi will remain, and there is also a risk of confrontation between government security forces and alleged Jihadi militant groups reportedly based near the town of Derna. There is also a risk of demonstrations in Benghazi which may be related to the upcoming elections or the issue of semi-autonomy for the east of the country. These will also carry a risk of sporadic violence.

Campaigning for the upcoming elections will gather pace over the coming weeks, and a clearer picture of who will be the main players may begin to appear. There will be a heightened risk of political demonstrations with the potential for violence throughout the country as the polls approach.

Tripoli

The security situation in Tripoli remains relatively stable, although the risk of a sudden temporary deterioration in certain areas remains. A number of militia groups retain the ability to enter the city at will and seize vital infrastructure, something that has occurred on numerous occasions in the past and which remains a real possibility, particularly in response to perceived unfair treatment by the central authorities.

AKE personnel on the ground have highlighted a growing number of power cuts in the city, likely due to the heat and increasing use of air conditioning during the summer months. This may also increase in frequency during Ramadan, which begins in mid-July.

Benghazi

A group of armed gunmen stormed the Tunisian consulate in the city on 18 June, in protest against an art exhibition in Tunis, which they perceive as insulting to Islam. A group of around 20 young men carrying Kalashnikovs reportedly stormed the building and burned the Tunisian flag inside. Security forces deployed en mass to the consulate and regained control of the building from the men, who withdrew without resistance. The incident again demonstrates the ease with which armed groups can enter strategic sites at will.

Juma Obaidi al-Jazawi, a high profile military prosecutor accused of involvement in the killing of former rebel commander Abdel Fatah Younis, was shot dead after leaving a mosque in Benghazi on 21 June. The incident comes after a spate of attacks on foreign NGO and government targets in the city, many of which have been claimed by Islamist militants believed to be based in Derna.

Last week armed jeeps carrying Jihadists entered Benghazi bearing black al-Qaeda flags and gathered in the town centre. They were then confronted by thousands of youths, who were alerted through a Facebook appeal, chanting pro-Libyan and pro-democracy slogans. The men were subsequently forced out of the square by the hostile crowd.

Meanwhile, the headstones on World War Two military graves in the city were desecrated for a second time in four months on 21 June. NTC officials stated that they were unsure who carried out the act of vandalism, although unconfirmed reports indicate that Islamists may have been responsible.

Derna

Unconfirmed reports indicate that clashes took place in Derna this week involving national army forces. Rumours of Jihadi militant cells operating in the city have raised the profile of the town in recent weeks and led to expectations that the NTC would look to conduct military operations there to flush out any hostile elements. There is therefore a risk of further violence in and around the town over the coming weeks and months.

ICC Employee Detention

Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel Aziz stated on 16 June that he expected the International Criminal Court (ICC) to cooperate with investigations into allegations that an Australian lawyer, identified as Melinda Taylor, smuggled documents to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The UN Security Council, human rights groups, the court in The Hague, and the Australian government have all called for the release of Taylor and her interpreter Helene Assaf, in what has proved to be the country's biggest diplomatic spat since the uprising ousted the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan officials claimed the pair were caught passing messages from outside supporters to Saif during a meeting, and that they were in in possession of "spying and recording equipment”. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr arrived in Libya on 18 June in order to push for the release of all the ICC staff.

Security Companies in Libya

The government announced a new decree (decree248) that will ban foreign security companies from operating in Libya. Any Libyan company found to be trading with a security company will also be banned from operating in the country. It remains unclear how stringently this new decree will be enforced and whether it will apply to those operating in the country in support of the foreign diplomatic presence.

Political Section

Campaigning for Libya's first national election was expected to begin on 18 June ahead of the polls currently scheduled for 7 July. The elections will choose a national assembly that will then be given the task of drafting a new constitution, overseeing the government and scheduling a new round of elections. Candidates come from over 142 political associations, although only 80 seats have been reserved for political parties, with the rest reserved for independents.

AKE is a leading international security risk-mitigation and analysis provider to international businesses, insurers, NGOs and news media. Founded in 1991 by Andrew Kain, AKE distinguishes itself from other security firms by taking a needs- and intelligence-led approach to assessing, monitoring, training for and protecting against risk. For security assistance on the situation in Libya please contact operations@akegroup.com or call +44 (0) 1432 267 111. For intelligence contact intel@akegroup.comfor further information.
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Released:  08/10/20122012-10-08
Word count:  912

The authorities thwarted plans for large demonstrations in Tripoli on 28 October, aimed at protesting against the presence of largely unaccountable militia groups in the city. In the east, four policemen were killed when unknown assailants threw a grenade at a national security checkpoint near the town of Sousa, 200km east of Benghazi on 3 October. Near Bani Walid, militia groups operating in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence...

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Mina Monir
Projections There is an ongoing risk of attacks targeting personnel and assets associated with the government and security forces, particularly in the east of the country. Attacks could also target high-profile foreign diplomatic and NGO assets and personnel, although so far the majority of attacks have been opportunist in nature and small in scale. Hostile groups are not thought to have significantly increased their capabilities over recent months. There remains a risk of political demonstrations that have the potential for violence in areas close to government buildings and foreign diplomatic compounds, related to a number of issues including the make-up of the government following the announcement of changes in personnel over the coming days and weeks. Personnel should attempt to avoid any large gatherings that appear political in nature and be aware of the potential for deterioration in the security situation in proximity to such events.

Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagour will now attempt to make changes to the cabinet line-up that will be aimed at dampening dissent and providing representation for those factions that were aggrieved at being left out of the last nominations.

Tripoli The authorities thwarted plans for large demonstrations in Tripoli on 28 October aimed at protesting against the presence of largely unaccountable militia groups in the city. Meanwhile, hundreds of people began handing in weapons left over from the conflict, as part of a government drive to reduce the widespread presence of arms throughout the country. Efforts to disarm local militia groups however, will require the efforts of a strong centrally-controlled security force that does not currently exist in Libya.

The widespread presence of weapons continues to be one of the main factors affecting security in the country, with seemingly innocuous incidents having the potential to deteriorate into violence rapidly. AKE personnel on the ground advise expatriates to be aware at all times of the risk posed by weapons in the hands of untrained individuals.

Sousa Four policemen were killed when unknown assailants threw a grenade at a national security checkpoint near the town of Sousa, 200km east of Benghazi on 3 October.

The attack was the latest in a number of small-scale militant attacks in the east of the country over recent months that include the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. AKE assesses there to be a heightened risk of such attacks in the east of the country, although the majority have targeted government and security personnel and assets, or high profile foreign diplomatic and NGO targets.

AKE advises companies to adopt a low profile approach to security in Libya that mitigates the risk of being singled out by hostile elements known to be operating in the east of the country.

Bani Walid Militia groups operating in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence have positioned themselves outside the former Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, leading to fears of impending fighting in the area. The move comes shortly after the death of Misrata rebel fighter Omran Shaban, who became famous in Libya for helping to capture Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte. Shaban was held by militia from Bani Walid, and reportedly tortured while in their hands. He later died from his injuries.

At least one person was reportedly killed and ten others were wounded on 2 October in clashes close to Bir Dufan, located around 20km northeast of Bani Walid. Earlier the same day the National Congress issued an ultimatum to the town to hand over those suspected of killing Omran Shaban. Negotiations are ongoing to attempt to resolve the issue.

Political Section Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagour stated on 4 October that he had withdrawn his proposed government list after demonstrators stormed the national assembly in protest and politicians voiced their discontent over its make-up. The biggest controversy is likely to be the exclusion of members from the largest bloc in parliament, the liberal National Forces Alliance (NFA). Abushagour stated that he was willing to change some of his nominations.

Abushagour initially nominated his government on 3 October for approval by the newly elected General National Congress. The line-up included a large number of new faces, with some of those major figures expected to retain their positions not re-appointed. The exclusion of the NFA was potentially an attempt to prevent any one party appearing to dominate the transition process. Appointments were also clearly aimed at providing regional representation, with three prime ministers, from the western town of Zintan, the east and from the south.

It also included a number of members of the Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Construction Party, which came second in the recent parliamentary elections with 17 seats, behind the NFA's 39. Protestors from the western town of Zawiyah entered the assembly building and protested against the lack of representation for their town. A number of candidates were put forward for oil minister and lost out to the unknown Mabrouk Issa Abu Harroura. The incident highlights the difficulties faced by Abushagour in pleasing all parties and regions with his choice of government, while still picking the right people to tackle the myriad of challenges facing it.

Elsewhere, the man nominated as defence minister, Abdelsalam Jadallah al-Obeidi, was a former military General from Benghazi who defected early in the uprising. Similarly, he would have been seen as being able to build a bridge to militias in Benghazi, who the government is currently attempting to bring under the national army umbrella or disband entirely.
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Released:  01/10/20122012-10-01
Word count:  636

Libya will remain at risk of further attacks and unrest, which will continue to negatively affect its image as a stable investment climate. Somewhat positively, the latest developments have spurred on the authorities to take action against some of the country's more volatile militia groups. However, the ability to do so will be tempered, not least until the prime minister names a new cabinet.

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Mina Monir
Projections The security situation will remain tenuous throughout the country and further attacks linked to Jihadist cells or former Gaddafi loyalists are likely to occur in a number of major cities. Benghazi remains most at risk.

Demonstrations are likely to continue involving members and supporters of Ansar al-Sharia, as well as those opposed to the restriction of liberal freedoms. These will be more frequent in Benghazi, and have the potential to involve violence. Personnel are advised to avoid large gatherings, particularly if they appear to be political in nature.

Integrating the militias The government has placed two powerful militias under the command of the central security forces in a bid to exert its authority over the myriad of disparate armed groups that have contributed to the instability and deteriorating security environment over the last six months. Commanders of the February 17 Brigade and Rafallah al-Sahati militia were ordered to be removed and replaced by army officers. The move came after public outrage against the militias which resulted in violent demonstrations with protesters storming a number of militia bases. In a move to capitalise on the withdrawal of militias from Benghazi and Derna the military have stated that armed groups in and around Tripoli must leave state and military premises, or be forcibly ejected.

Calls for dialogue with Islamists National Forces Alliance chief Mahmoud Jilbril announced that for Libya to make its full transition to democracy it must embrace dialogue with all parties, including radical Islamist elements of society. In an effort to create a sense of national dialogue Jibril stressed the need to avoid exclusion in its transition of government and made a point to reference that many Islamist organisations were critical in the downfall of Gaddafi. While public anger continues over violence committed by Islamist groups, especially those in areas where its authority remains weak, the opportunities for such a dialogue seem distant.

Risks to investment after Benghazi attack Questions over business investment in Libya have been raised in the aftermath of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. Progress has been made in regard to foreign investment over recent months but a surge in violence has replaced considered optimism with caution. While the attack on the consulate has been the most violent incident since the end of the uprising, its severity will put pressure on any new administration to tackle security problems for fear of losing foreign interest. Waiting for a new government has revealed an administrative limbo and further delay in tackling institutional reform and reconstruction, even for the sake of security, will bring its own repercussions. In the long-term tackling infrastructure and security problems will be essential.

Revolutionary dies in Paris Omran Shaaban, the revolutionary who discovered Gaddafi in a drainage pipe in Sirte, has died. Shaaban was captured in the pro-Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid in July. He suffered a gunshot to the neck and was tortured over a two month period. Released in a state of paralysis he was taken to a hospital in Paris but died from his injuries. His death will raise tensions as well as prompt demonstrations and the prospect of more violence in an effort to settle political or tribal scores. Lingering pockets of support for the Gaddafi regime remain, especially in Bani Walid and the risk of future conflict is a distinct possibility.

New cabinet ultimatum The newly elected General National Congress issued an ultimatum to new Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagour on 26 September, threatening to dismiss him if he does not name his new cabinet by 8 October. Abushagour was due to present his government list to the national assembly for approval by 28 September but reports indicate he asked to extend the period by 10 days. Abushagour has issued assurances he will meet the deadline.
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Released:  23/07/20122012-07-23
Word count:  975

The National Forces Alliance (NFA), led by former wartime prime minister Mahmoud Jibril, finished ahead of its Islamist rivals following the announcement of results on 17 July. The security situation in Tripoli remains the same. AKE personnel on the ground have reported a number of clashes in the city over the past week. The security situation in Benghazi also remains the same and there is a risk of violence around demonstrations protesting...

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Hind Bensari


Projections

The security situation in Tripoli will remain changeable. Although generally stable, the risk of violent clashes will endure as long as weapons remain widespread, and the security forces remain incapable of disarming the disparate militia groups in the city.



The situation in Benghazi is similar, and the new government will make providing an effective, centrally controlled security force one of its primary aims.



The NFA will seek to form a broad coalition in order to assure that the government has the ability to pass vital legislation required to move the transition process along. A council to draft a constitution will also be formed, although at present it appears that this may be popularly elected.



Election results

The NFA, led by former wartime prime minister Mahmoud Jibril finished ahead of its Islamist rivals following the announcement of results on 17 July. However, the vast majority of seats in the new parliament are reserved for independent candidates, thus it remains unclear who will dominate after the process of coalition building has been completed. The NFA won 39 out of the 80 seats reserved for parties in the 200-member assembly, compared to the Muslim Brotherhood, which won 17 seats.



Tripoli

The security situation in Tripoli remains the same. AKE personnel on the ground have reported a number of clashes in the city over the past week, and the risk of further incidents of this nature remains.



On 17 July, at least two people were killed in clashes in the Hay al-Andalus area of Gargaresh. The clashes reportedly began when a man was killed following an incident of negligent discharge. The incident then escalated into a family feud, with rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and automatic weapons being fired at the home of the person responsible.



Unconfirmed reports indicate that the second victim was the man responsible for the original shooting. The incident demonstrates the risks associated with the widespread presence of arms in the hands of untrained individuals. Clashes involving an initial argument can often escalate rapidly given that both sides are usually armed, and can call on the support of family members or fellow militiamen. Personnel are advised to avoid areas when there are reports of clashes, and be aware that they can re-ignite rapidly despite an appearance of calm.



On the ground AKE personnel also highlighted that a clash involving the Zintan militia and another local armed group occurred in the Casbencasir area to the north west of Tripoli International Airport on 19 July. There was no information on any casualties during the clashes. The clash reportedly erupted over a land dispute in the area.



The airport has seen a number of clashes over recent months, with local militia groups often attempting to use it as a bargaining chip, given its strategic nature, in order to highlight their causes or grievance with the interim government.



Meanwhile, AKE personnel on the ground have highlighted reports of armed robberies throughout the city, even in generally safe areas such as Gargaresh. Reports of armed robberies and car-jacking have steadily increased over recent months, with outlying areas such as Sarraj, and Janzour seeing a number of these incidents.



Benghazi and the east

The security situation in Benghazi remains the same. There remains a risk of violence around demonstrations protesting perceived under-representation of the east. There will also remain a risk of violence carried out by local armed groups aimed at highlighting the issue.



Furthermore, the risk of small-scale attacks by suspected Jihadist groups operating in the east of the country will remain and, as in Tripoli, the risk of larger scale attacks cannot be discounted.



Olympic chief kidnapped

On 15 July Libya's Olympic committee President Nabil al-Alem was kidnapped from his vehicle near his office by armed men in military clothing who approached and cornered him in two vehicles. Al-Alem, a former national judo champion, became head of the Olympic committee after its president Mohammed Gaddafi, one of Muammar Gaddafi's sons, fled to Algeria in August 2011. Although his whereabouts remain unknown, National Transitional Council (NTC) deputy chairman Mustafa El-Huni stated that the authorities were working on securing his release.



Political section

The release of official election results on 17 July has begun a process of coalition building as the two main political blocs attempt to persuade independent candidates to join their governing coalition. The loyalties of most of the parliament's 120 independents remain unclear, although it is likely that many will attempt to retain their independence due to mistrust of both major groups. For many the Muslim Brotherhood will appear to ideological, while the NFA may also have too many links to the former regime for many.



The Muslim Brotherhood gained 17 out of 80 seats reserved for parties in the parliament, while the NFA gained 39. Some reports indicate that the Muslim Brotherhood backed another 20 winning independent candidates, bringing their total to 39, while the NFA backed 100 independents in the polls, although it remains unclear how many won their individual contests. What is clear is that not all the independents will choose a side, potentially leaving a sizeable group that may switch allegiances on individual issues. Although unclear at the moment how strong the governing coalition is likely to be, a potential scenario could see the government required to convince independents to side with it over every piece of legislation it passes, thus potentially slowing the pace at which vital but controversial decisions are made. The NFA will therefore be keen to form a broad coalition that will give it a parliamentary majority.



AKE is a leading international security risk-mitigation and analysis provider to international businesses, insurers, NGOs and news media. Founded in 1991 by Andrew Kain, AKE distinguishes itself from other security firms by taking a needs- and intelligence-led approach to assessing, monitoring, training for and protecting against risk. For security assistance on the situation in Libya please contact operations@akegroup.com or call +44 (0) 1432 267 111. For intelligence contact intel@akegroup.comfor further information.
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Released:  06/07/20122012-07-06
Word count:  491

Parliamentary elections Libya will hold its first free parliamentary elections since the overthrow of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi on 7 July. The Islamist bloc is expected to perform well in the polls, although the majority of seats have been reserved for independent candidates, meaning the future parliament is unlikely to be dominated by a single party or movement. AKE personnel on the ground have highlighted reports that some...

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Hind Bensari
Tripoli Security in Tripoli remains the same, although there is a heightened risk of attacks by former Gaddafi loyalist elements and suspected Jihadist cells around election time, particularly on the day of the elections on 7 July. Although any attacks are likely to be small in scale, mass-casualty attacks cannot be ruled out. Potential targets are government buildings, major hotels, facilities associated with the security forces and election polling stations.

Benghazi Armed protestors calling for more autonomy for the east of the country stormed the local headquarters of the national election commission in Benghazi on 1 July, burning materials and breaking computer equipment. Around 300 men were reported to have carried computers and ballot boxes from the building before crushing them outside and chanting pro-federalism slogans. The protest was reportedly in response to the refusal of the national government to grant the eastern portion of the country an equal number of seats in the new parliament.

There is a risk of further demonstrations and violence of this nature, particularly around election time on 7 July.

Meanwhile, on 30 June, the national army barracks in Benghazi were attacked by unidentified assailants using a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). No casualties were reported, although the blast caused damage to the back wall of the facility. It is as yet unknown who carried out the attack, which is the latest in a recent surge of militant attacks in the city. The majority of recent attacks have been blamed on Jihadist elements believed to be operating in the east of the country, and based in the vicinity of the town of Derna.

There is an increased risk of attacks around election time, with polling stations a possible target, as well as government buildings and foreign assets and personnel.

Tebu threaten election boycott Leaders of the Tebu tribe in the south of Libya have threatened to call for a boycott of the upcoming elections on 7 July if officials do not withdraw troops from their locations in the south. The government deployed troops to the south of the country in recent months after prolonged tribal fighting in the area.

ICC Staff released Four officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC) were released by militia from the town of Zintan after being held since early June on suspicion of spying. Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor and Lebanese-born interpreter Helene Assaf were accused of smuggling documents to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and were only released after an apology by the ICC for the incident. Their two male colleagues who were not detained stayed with them throughout the ordeal.

AKE is a leading international security risk-mitigation and analysis provider to international businesses, insurers, NGOs and news media. Founded in 1991 by Andrew Kain, AKE distinguishes itself from other security firms by taking a needs- and intelligence-led approach to assessing, monitoring, training for and protecting against risk. For security assistance on the situation in Libya please contact operations@akegroup.com or call +44 (0) 1432 267 111. For intelligence contact intel@akegroup.comfor further information.
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Released:  29/06/20122012-06-29
Word count:  1088

An improvised explosive device (IED) exploded outside the Tunisian embassy in Tripoli on 26 January, causing slight damage to the building's entrance gate, but no casualties. Armed units reportedly blocked the main highway linking Tripoli and major cities in the west of the country with Benghazi and the east. The security situation in Benghazi remains the same. The risk of further small-scale attacks targeting the assets and personnel of...

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Hind Bensari
Projections Tripoli will remain calm, although there is an ongoing risk of clashes between rival militia groups and small scale attacks on government buildings and the assets and personnel of foreign governments and international organisations.

This risk will remain most pronounced in Benghazi, where there are likely to be further attacks of a similar nature to those seen in recent months.

There is also a risk of protests and demonstrations in all major cities in the run up to elections, despite the relative lack of political activity witnessed so far. There will continue to be a risk of violence at these demonstrations, particularly those in Benghazi, where the issue of semi-autonomy has proved to be a divisive.

Tensions and clashes will continue in a number of flashpoint areas in the south of the country, particularly in the southeastern town of al-Kufra, the southwestern town of Sabha and a number of other locations in the West of the country to the south of the capital.

Election campaigning will likely gain pace over the coming week, although it is unlikely that enough publicity and enthusiasm will be generated to avoid some questioning over the legitimacy and representative nature of the results.

Tripoli An improvised explosive device (IED) exploded outside the Tunisian embassy in Tripoli on 26 January, causing slight damage to the building's entrance gate, but no casualties. Gunmen recently stormed the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi to protest against an exhibition in Tunis that they claimed was an insult to Islam, while other attacks on foreign diplomatic targets in Benghazi have been linked to Jihadist cells operating in the east of the country.

It remains unclear who carried out the attack, although it is likely to be linked to the same movement that was involved in the embassy attack. Tripoli itself has been largely spared the kind of low level attacks that have become more frequent in the east of the country, particularly Benghazi, however the recent attack demonstrates that hostile elements do have the capability to conduct attacks in the capital, albeit on a small-scale.

The recent series of attacks have all been small in scale, and there have been few major casualties. A rocket propelled grenade (RPG) attack targeting a UK FCO convoy injured two of those travelling on the convoy, although even this was likely an opportunist attack helped by the high profile nature of the convoy. Most of the attacks are likely aimed at sending a message that security cannot be guaranteed, thus harming the transition process, and the image of the security situation abroad.

Tripoli-Benghazi Highway Armed units reportedly blocked the main highway linking Tripoli and major cities in the west of the country with Benghazi and the east. The militias stated they would remain in place until the east of the country is given a greater distribution of seats in the new national parliament. The self-declared governing council of the east (known as the Barqa Council) is calling for a boycott of the elections unless seats are shared equally between the provinces.

The road block has not been opposed by government security forces, demonstrating the relative weakness of the central authorities in the face of an array of local and regional militia groups, many of which remain heavily armed.

Benghazi The security situation in Benghazi remains the same. The risk of further small-scale attacks targeting the assets and personnel of international organisations and the foreign diplomatic presence remains high, although casualty figures will likely remain low.

In the run up to elections there is a growing risk of protests and demonstrations calling for a boycott, or calling for unity and full participation in the polls. Previous demonstrations have seen clashes between members of opposing sides in this debate, and there is a risk of further low level violence of this nature. Protests will likely focus on government buildings and central squares of the city.

Oil Industry Operations at Ras Lanuf, Libya's largest oil refinery have been delayed further, and will not restart in early July as previously stated. A petrochemical unit at the facility, which does not run on crude oil, will however begin operations as planned. Ras Lanuf accounts for well over half of Libya's refining capacity at 220,000 bpd. Unconfirmed reports indicate that a dispute over the price at which the refinery is supplied with crude is holding up the return of operations.

Political Section With elections scheduled for 7 July fast approaching, there are growing concerns over the lack of political campaigning and publicity surrounding the polls, in a country where the majority have never voted, and a large proportion registered voters remain unclear over the process and what is required of them. There are growing fears that the results will lack legitimacy if large numbers of those registered, which accounts for around 80 per cent of the eligible population, choose not to turnout due to security concerns, or spoil their votes as they do not understand the process properly.

Moreover, with 120 seats in the new parliament designated to independents, and only 20 reserved for political parties, the result is likely to be a parliament with a lack of unity and vision over how to move forward, potentially resulting in stagnated decision making process and a lack of ability to tackle major issues and challenges. Add to this the potential for a low turnout and results that could be perceived as largely unrepresentative, and there is clearly potential for further frustration and tension in the aftermath of the polls.

The lawyer for former Gaddafi-era Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi stated on 26 June that his client had been badly beaten by Libyan security forces, which left him with broken ribs and a punctured lung. Libyan government officials denied the claims, branding them "a naked lie”. Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki had previously stated that the extradition of al-Mahmoudi from his country was illegal, and was carried out behind his back. Libyan officials stated that human rights had yet to visit al-Mahmoudi, but stated that in the near future full access would be given for any Tunisian entity wishing to visit him in Libya and check on his condition and treatment.

AKE is a leading international security risk-mitigation and analysis provider to international businesses, insurers, NGOs and news media. Founded in 1991 by Andrew Kain, AKE distinguishes itself from other security firms by taking a needs- and intelligence-led approach to assessing, monitoring, training for and protecting against risk. For security assistance on the situation in Libya please contact operations@akegroup.com or call +44 (0) 1432 267 111. For intelligence contact intel@akegroup.comfor further information.
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