Conflict in Libya

After popular movements overturned the rulers of Egypt and Tunisia, its neighbors to the west and east, Libya experienced a national revolt beginning on 17 February 2011. By 20 February, the unrest had spread to Tripoli.

Several international companies in Libya didn’t react on the protests at the beginning, because most companies believed that the uprisings weren’t going to be more violent than the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. However, SHIELD Risk Consulting activated its client’s crisis response plan in the beginning of the uprisings, to ensure a quick and swift evacuation and stabilization if needed. SHIELD Risk Consulting stationed two consultants from its middle-eastern office in Libya, who knew the country and the language, to provide assistance if needed by clients.

By early March 2011, some parts of Libya had tipped out of Gaddafi’s control, coming under the control of a coalition of opposition forces, including soldiers who decided to support the rebels. Eastern Libya, centered on the port city of Benghazi, was said to be firmly in the hands of the opposition, while Tripoli and its environs remained in dispute.

Due to the escalation of the conflict between opposition forces and pro-Gaddafi forces, SHIELD Risk Consulting decided to announce to its client’s that they should evacuate all essential personnel out of the country and initiate security response procedures for the protection of offices, non-essential personnel, production facilities etc.

SHIELD Risk Consulting helped to evacuate over 100 key-personnel out of the country.

Pro-Gaddafi forces were able to respond militarily to rebel pushes in Western Libya and launched a counterattack along the coast toward Benghazi, the de facto centre of the uprising. The town of Zawiya, 48 kilometers (30 mi) from Tripoli, was bombarded by planes and tanks and seized by pro-Gaddafi troops, “exercising a level of brutality not yet seen in the conflict.”

By the end of October 2011 most clients returned to Libya to continue their business. With the assistance by SHIELD Risk Consulting businesses ensured a continuity of their business without huge economic losses.