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.