Thursday, 2 August 2012

Libya: Security system failures


There has been a failure of the security system in protecting those elements of, or close to, the government of the National Transitional Council (NTC), particularly in Benghazi. Among the victims of this particular instability is a military intelligence official, Suleiman Buzraidah, formerly in Qadhafi's employ, who was killed in a drive-by shooting incident on 28 July. This is seen in Libya as part of a well-integrated plot to eliminate from the ruling group those suspected of involvement in the deaths of individuals during the Qadhafi era. In all, it is suggested by government sources that as many as 106 names of officials in office during the Qadhafi period appear on the death list of the covert vigilante organisation. The shooting of Buzraidah was followed by the death in a bombing incident of Hameed Ali Kunduz. In June, Colonel Saleh al-Warfali, another Qadhafi regime official suffered a similar fate and this was again associated with the anti-Qadhafi extremists within the current regime.

On 29 July, again in Benghazi, General Khalifa Hafter was fortunate enough not to be included in the above reckoning. The gunmen who fired at the convoy in which he was travelling failed in their assassination attempt, leaving him unhurt.

The peace has also been disturbed by a continuation of the feuds raging in the Misrata region, particularly including confrontations between militia men from Bani Walid and locals from Misrata. At the same time, the violence affecting the Zwai and Tebu tribes in the Al Kufrah area continues and now includes a sub-theme of arms sales and smuggling.

On 30 July, a delegation of seven members of the Iranian Red Crescent arrived in Benghazi to discuss with their Libyan counterparts co-operation in humanitarian aid. At 01:00 on 31 July on the way to their hotel they were kidnapped by gunmen. There is no further information.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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