EU naval operation frigate acts to implement UN arms embargo of Libya

June 22, 2017
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A French frigate operating as part of EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia off the coast of Libya has seized weapons from a motor vessel suspected of smuggling arms in breach of the UN Arms Embargo on Libya.

While conducting patrols in international waters off Libya, the French warship carried out an inspection on a suspect vessel and discovered light weapons and ammunition, which it confiscated. The activity was carried out in close coordination with Italian “Operation Mare Sicuro” assets, which had made initial contact with the suspected boat. “Mare Sicuro” was launched in 2015 following the worsening of the Libyan crisis, and aims to protecting shipping in the area and to counter any possible terrorist threats.

Cooperation between the Italian Navy operation and the EU Military operation is another example of how military and security actors in the Mediterranean can work effectively together and coordinate their activity.

EUNAVFOR MED operation SOPHIA was launched on 22 June 2015 as part of the EU’s approach to disrupt the business model of human trafficking and migrant smuggling networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean. The following year, the EU added the additional tasks of the training of the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard and the implementation of the arms embargo off the coast of Libya to the Operation’s Mandate. At present EUNAVFOR MED is the only organisation implementing the UN Arms Embargo on Libya.

Following EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia’s activities, 110-suspected smugglers and traffickers have been apprehended and 452 boats have been removed from criminal organisations’ availability.


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Countries covered:

  • Libya
Human Rights