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EU To Deploy Warships In Attempt To Enforce UN Arms Embargo On Libya

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EU To Deploy Warships In Attempt To Enforce UN Arms Embargo On Libya

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On February 17th, EU foreign ministers agreed, in principle, on a new mission to enforce the arms embargo on Libya.

This would include naval assets, this was announced by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and confirmed by the Italian and Austrian foreign ministers.

“We all agreed to create a mission to block the entry of arms into Libya,” said Italy’s foreign minister, Luigi di Maio.

The new mission will replace Operation Sophia, which was initially launched in 2015 to stop human trafficking from North Africa to Europe, while also enforcing a UN arms embargo. Operation Sophia was suspended in 2019 over Italy’s protests that EU vessels were rescuing migrants in distress at sea, and allowing them disembark at Italian ports.

Austria’s government opposed the mission being restarted by arguing that sending EU ships along the Libyan coast would lead to a rise in Europe-bound migrants.

Essentially, warships will be deployed to enforce the embargo, and the ships that would be used to rescue migrants and refugees from drowning would be stopped.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s chief diplomat, said the new operation with naval ships, planes and satellites will enforce the United Nations arms embargo on Libya.

Borrell promised that it wouldn’t become a rescue mission and that the ships would be withdrawn if they became “a pull factor” that encouraged people to attempt the risky crossing from Libya to Europe.

The new mission will see EU ships dispatched only to the eastern Mediterranean, where the Libyan National Army is based in Libya, and far away from the sea routes used by migrants around the Government of National Accord (GNA) controlled areas in the west.

How effective this would be is dubious, since Turkey is also violating the embargo by delivering weapons and equipment to the GNA.

An internal EU memo, released by the London-based civil liberties group Statewatch, underscores that the EU does not expect to be involved in rescuing people. “Naval assets can be deployed in the areas most relevant to the implementation of the arms embargo, in the eastern part of the area of operation or at least 100km off the Libyan coast, where chances to conduct rescue operations are lower,” it says.

The task “contributing to information sharing and implementation of the UN arms embargo” becomes the Operation’s core task; “Monitoring activities related to oil smuggling” will also be carried out.

The task “Contributing to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Mediterranean” becomes a supporting task refocused to “supporting the detection and monitoring of human smuggling and trafficking networks through information gathering and patrolling in accordance with international law,” carried out by aerial assets.


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These people are dreaming.


This makes no sense at all. The weapons will come then by air or over land. This was initiated by people who mourn the end of mission Sophia.

Concrete Mike

Agreed this is a scam to get the refugee flows going again.q


No this makes sense; it is a classic NATO / Russia confrontation. EU (NATO) giving cover to Turkey (NATO) supporting the Libya Govt in Tripoli against Russia + Haftar National Army; Russia ships will be harassed / blocked while Turkey ones are let through.


How weak and pathetic cowards are these EU countries – they are so terrified of Turkey they cannot even name Turkey as the prime violater of the UN arms embargo, and now this ::
” The new mission will see EU ships dispatched only to the eastern
Mediterranean, where the Libyan National Army is based in Libya, and far
away from the sea routes used by migrants around the Government of
National Accord (GNA) controlled areas in the west. ” By far the major delivery of arms from Turkey to GNA arrive in plain sight into Tripoli ( port) and Misrata (port and airport) in the WEST, so the EU naval “enforcers ” (laugh) will take extra care to avoid Turkish arms and troop shipments into Libya. Not a single EU country dares actually confront Turkish violations – weak as piss


am pretty sure the EU allows erdogan to extort us with the promise that he will keep migrants issue under control if the arms keep flowing his mercenaries ways, but doubt that our half assed attitude get us anything good, we got to stop looking at erdogan as a partner in solution to worldproblems but rather a cause of worldproblems , the sick man of europe wants power or he threatens to infect us all.


More like EU acting FOR its NATO ally Turkey, and as Buttonplay says to keep migrants out of Rather EU is fearful of calling out Russia by name its real target, along with its ally the Libya National Army based in the East, for this one sided arm’s embargo.


Quite amazing Russia is reaching out this far for influence right under EU / NATO southern flank. Demonstrates Russia renewed confidence and unexpected consequence of NATO violent ousting of Gaddafi. If Russia’s ally General Khalifa Haftar achieves any form of power in Libya, even as part of a negotiated peace plan unity government, it would be a major comeback and extension of Russia influence, countering a little bit NATO’s massive extension east the last 2 decades.

A lot at stake in Libya, so this is EU arms embargo but to fill in the missing wording in the diplomatic annoucement, an arm’s embargo only against arms deliveries to Libya National Army under General Hafter.


Another “brain dead” committee decision from the United Soviets of Europe. It is couched in deceptive wording and its purpose is to hide the true mission of these ships (and we can guess at what it is).
As to the ships not being there to rescue migrants that the people traffickers send across all the time, we can be sure that his will not hold water. All the migrant boats need to do is to go near the ships (10km is near enough) and scuttle the boat, and by international law the warships are OBLIGATED to rescue them! Unless there is an iron-clad top level command that the warships have to release the migrants in the nearest African port this will end up as complete hogwash and willy-nilly the migrants will end up in Europe.

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