Operation EUNAVFORMED Irini: the mission started its activities at sea

(To EUNAVFORMED Irini)
07/05/20

From 4 May the European Union mission EUNAVFORMED IRINI started its activities at sea in its area of ​​operation with a French naval unit and a maritime patrol plane made available by Luxembourg.

"At the Berlin conference, leaders agreed to work together for a sustainable solution to the crisis in Libya - said the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell - However, the conflict continues to put the lives of Libyans and the whole region at risk. Effective implementation of the United Nations arms embargo on Libya will help achieve a lasting ceasefire and promote political agreement. Operation Irini is therefore an important contribution to achieving this goal. It demonstrates the EU's commitment to peace in Libya, including at times when Member States are fighting the coronavirus pandemic. "

“With the closure of the Force Generation Conference on April 28th, Operation IRINI was able to start activities at sea with the first means made available immediately. These will be joined in the short term by the other structures made available by the Member States " said Admiral Fabio Agostini, commander of the European Union Operation which exercises its functions from the headquarters located in Rome at the headquarters of the Centocelle Interforces Operations Center.

Means like the French ship Jean Bart (photos), are particularly valuable for the operation as they have the ability to monitor both maritime and air traffic. This double possibility is essential for the implementation of the mandate of the Operation in full respect of the Berlin conference, guaranteeing impartiality in the conflict.

The mission of the European Union Irini (from the Greek name of the goddess "peace") was planned in no time and launched on March 31 following a decision of the European Council. The main task is to enforce the arms embargo on Libya under the UN Security Council resolutions. The Operation will also have secondary tasks of monitoring illegal oil trafficking from Libya, helping to dismantle human trafficking and smuggling activities (through air traffic control) and will assist in training the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy.

The command at sea (Force Commander) will be assigned every six months, alternately, to Italy and Greece. The rotation of the Force Commander will take place together with the rotation of the flagship.

Initially the mission will be able to count on three Naval units (from France, Greece and Italy), a Maltese team for the boarding of merchant units and three directly assigned patrol planes (from Germany, Luxembourg and Poland) and roughly the same number of assets in associated support.

Lo European Satellite Center (SatCen) will guarantee the support of satellite images.

It is expected that other special arrangements necessary to fulfill the mission tasks such as submarines, drones (UAVs) and AEW planes, will be made available to support the Operation in a non-continuous manner by the Member States.

Particular attention was paid to the topic of Coronavirus. The operational commander has issued guidelines to the participating countries, to reduce the risk of contagion in the structures made available which must in any case be declared "COVID-FREE" by the flag State before they can be included in the operation.

Photo: Ministère des Armées