EU approves naval mission in Libya

19 May 2015

Operation will target migrant-smuggling gangs

The EU has agreed to launch a naval mission that will target migrant-smuggling groups in Libya amid concerns about the high-numbers of migrants attempting to travel to Europe from the North African nation.

The scale and scope of the project is yet to be decided and depends on support from Libya’s two rival governments, which are currently fighting to control territory and public institutions.

An intelligence-gathering operation will form the first phase of the project, with later phases possibly including the boarding and searching of vessels suspected of carrying migrants.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, the EU’s foreign policy chief said the first phase could start as soon as 25 June.

The EU has said that its efforts to disrupt the people-smuggling network in Libya are part of a wider EU plan for tackling the migration crisis.

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