SAFETY ADVISORY: Libya as at 28/01/13

UPDATE– 28/01/13

Security in Misrata has been increased following the assassination of local council member Mohamed Ben Othman on Saturday 26 January, and those of two security officials on Wednesday 23 January.

Alongside a partial gun ban, there is a ban on vehicles with no licence plates and on those with tinted film on their windows. Anyone working in Misrata with this type of vehicle is advised to change vehicles immediately to avoid potential problems with the security forces.

When travelling on the roads INSI urges journalists and news crews to ensure that there are plenty of supplies, fuel, spare tyres and means of communication in the vehicle. Mobile phones may not work in some remote areas so consider taking a satellite telephone or B-GAN system.

On Sunday 27 January, the Ras Jedir border crossing between Libya and Tunisia was re-opened following talks between both sides. Traffic is now flowing in both directions.

UPDATE - 25/01/13

INSI has been informed that there is the possibility of curfews being brought into Benghazi (midnight to 0500) and establishing military security checkpoints on all roads leading into/out of the city. Although nothing has been implemented yet, ensure you have correct accreditation and photo ID with you at all times.

UPDATE - 24/01/13

The International News Safety Institute has been alerted by credible sources that terrorist organisations may be planning to attack oil fields in Libya.

Intelligence suggests that the attacks may mirror last week's hostage situation in Algeria.

The majority of the oil fields are located in eastern Benghazi, where Islamist groups are pushing for separation from Tripoli as early as mid-February. It is not clear whether this current warning is related to the mid-February issue.

Western journalists operating in the area are encouraged to review their security immediately. INSI urges all journalists to exercise extreme caution and to take precautions to increase personal safety – maintain a low profile and stay in close contact with your embassy for further information updates.

Contact INSI if you require further information for working in hostile environments
Hannah Storm (+44 7766 814274; email: [email protected])
Helena Williams (+44 7949 048474; email: [email protected])

Photo: Libyans watch a protest against Ansar al-Shariah Brigades and other Islamic militias, in Benghazi, September 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)