Lull in Ganfuda Fighting to Allow Families to Leave

Jan 3, 2017 | Other Jihadi Actors

Libyan National Army (LNA) gains in Ganfuda, an area in south-west Benghazi, against the jihadist coalition comprising the Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council (BRSC) and Islamic State (ISIS), have slowed. For the last two weeks, LNA fighters maintained two no-fire zones to the east and west of Ganfuda to allow civilians to leave. On 1 January, LNA spokesperson Ahmed al-Mismari said that jihadi fighters were still preventing many hostage families from escaping the area. He said few families had left but that women and children could be heard in buildings now on the frontline.

Mismari claimed the jihadis are also holding a large number of hostages from the former regime. They had reportedly been held in prisons now under jihadi control. He added that the LNA had a hostage evacuation plan underway and said that the LNA now controlled most of the food and consumables supply warehouses in Ganfuda. Over the past few months, all demands by the besieged jihadists to allow families to leave by sea have been refused by the LNA. Four consecutive attempts by the LNA to provide safe passage for women and children with supervision of the ICRC have been refused by the jihadists.

As the LNA have advanced in Ganfuda, a variety of revealing videos have been allegedly found on the mobiles of dead jihadists and published on social media. There have also been reports of LNA fighters finding large mass graves where jihadists reportedly buried their dead, with the majority being young Libyans.