Saturday, 22/2/2020 | 3:43 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Answer – VP/HR – Upcoming phases of Operation Sophia – E-003066/2016

The next planned transition of the operation into the territorial waters of Libya requires the consent of a Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) or authorisation by an appropriate UN Security Council Resolution. In addition the transition requires the necessary arrangements agreed by both the GNA and Member States for the processing of all persons encountered by ENFM inside Libyan sovereign waters and territory. None of these conditions are currently in place.

There is a continued need for the provision of key assets, ships, and in the manning of certain specialist posts in both the OHQ and FHQ. The ongoing activities in the Aegean (NATO) and Indian Ocean (Atalanta) could in the long run place pressure on the provision of assets to all three maritime operations and requires commitment on force generation.

The current arrangements regarding the legal finish for suspect smugglers apprehended by ENFM are processed in accordance with an agreement with the Italian authorities. However, this arrangement applies only for suspects encountered on the high seas. In the event that SOPHIA would be authorised to operate in Libyan territorial waters, legal arrangements allowing the transfer and prosecution by competent authorities would be required. The exercise of law enforcement authority is normally the prerogative of the territorial jurisdiction in which the criminal acts have taken place and has priority over other forms of jurisdiction. In this context, arrest/apprehension by ENFM units in Libyan territorial waters would, in effect, require either a transfer to the Libyan authorities, prosecution by the flag state of the unit or a third state.