Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI - June report
In June 2022, Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI carried one inspection of a vessel suspected of violating the arms embargo on Libya, investigated 138 merchant vessels via radio calls (out of 6.894), carried out 33 visits on ships with Masters’ consent (out of 324). The Operation also monitored 31 suspect flights (out of 922) and continued to monitor 25 airports (and landing strips) and 16 ports (and oil terminals). Through the Crime Information Cell, the Operation issued 1 (out of 66) recommendations of inspection of suspect vessels in EU Member States’ ports.
After the 1st Berlin Conference, the Council of the European Union decided to launch, on 31 March 2020, a new Operation called EUNAVOR MED IRINI, mainly maritime and focused on implementing the UN arms embargo on Libya.
IRINI is part of the European integrated approach to Libya involving political, military, economic and humanitarian efforts to bring stability and security to the country.
Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI tasks are:
- to counter illegal arms trafficking, supporting the implementation of the arms embargo on Libya based on the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions;
- to gather information on oil smuggling , in particular due to its consequences on the Libyan economy and its possible use to finance the arms market;
- contribute to the disruption of the migrant smuggling business model by collecting information with aerial assets and sharing it with FRONTEX and relevant national authorities;
- support the development of Libyan Coast Guard and Navy’s Search and Rescue Capacity through training.
Since its launch, Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI has boarded and inspected 23 suspect vessels. One vessel out of 23 was diverted to a port of an EU Member State where its cargo was seized. On seven occasions, one flag State (Turkey) denied the consent to board and inspect suspect vessels. 6.894 merchant vessels have been investigated through request of information via radio calls while 324 vessels have been visited upon their Masters’ consent (so-called friendly approaches).
Furthermore, EUNAVFOR MED IRINI investigated 922 suspect flights, 25 airports and 16 ports, and provided 38 special reports to the UN Panel of Expert on Libya, most of which referred to violations or possible violations of the arms embargo and oil smuggling activities in the West and in the East of the country. Finally, through the embedded Crime Information Cell, the operation issued to the relevant Law Enforcement agencies 66 recommendations for inspection of suspect vessels in EU Member States’ ports, 52 of which were conducted.
These results have demonstrated IRINI’s effectiveness and impartiality.
Inspections or friendly approaches are always carried out in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions framework, in full respect of the international law, without undermining the vessels’ schedule of activities. Furthermore, all COVID-19 preventive measures are always implemented during these activities.
(data updated up to 30 June 2022)