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Libyan Newswire

Answer – Current status of EUNAVFOR Med Sophia – E-000194/2016

On 18 January 2016, the Council concluded that the conditions had been met for Eunavfor MED Operation Sophia (‘the operation’) to implement the authority given by UNSCR 2240 (2015) on the high seas off the coast of Libya, in accordance with Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/778(1). On 20 January 2016, the Political and Security Committee accordingly authorised the operation to implement this resolution on the high seas(2).

Transition to subsequent phases of the operation, including measures in the territorial and internal waters of that state pursuant to point (b)(ii) of Article 2(2) of Decision (CFSP) 2015/778, will be subject to a further assessment by the Council as to whether the conditions for that transition have been met, taking into account any applicable UNSC Resolution and consent by the coastal states concerned, and a decision by the Political and Security Committee on when to make the transition, in accordance with Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/778 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/972(3).

By mid-March, 98 vessels had been removed from illegal organisation availability and 58 suspect smugglers and traffickers had been arrested by the Italian authorities following Eunavfor MED activities. Almost 1 500 lives had been saved, with a total of 11 509 migrants rescued since the mission launch on 22 June 2015. The official webpage of the operation contains regular updates as regards its endeavours and achievements (http://eeas.europa.eu/csdp/missions-and-operations/eunavfor-med/news/index_en.htm).

A strategic review of the operation will be conducted shortly and will provide an opportunity for the Council to decide how it wants to take the operation forward.

(1) OJ L 122, 19.5.2015, p. 31.
(2) PSC Decision (CFSP) 2016/118, OJ L 23, 29.1.2016, p. 63.
(3) OJ L 157, 23.6.2015, p. 51.
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