EU’s Operation IRINI: Resolving Libya’s crisis requires full international community support

European Union’s Operation IRINI, Admiral Fabio Agostini, told Brussels Morning newspaper that the Libyan conundrum requires the commitment and active participation of the entire international community.

He said that first and foremost, all primary regional stakeholders need to be on board, the EU has primary and immediate interest to act, in cooperation with all who participated in the Berlin Conference on Libya.

“As Operation Commander of EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, I wish to point out that while IRINI is not the solution to the Libyan crisis, nonetheless it’s an essential tool to this end.” Agostini indicated.

“There are never purely military solutions to crises, yet no crisis can be solved without the use of military means. Indeed, the road to peace requires a comprehensive, holistic approach that includes four dimensions. In diplomatic jargon we call them tracks.” He added.

Agostini said the process consists of military, economic, diplomatic, and political tracks. All contribute to the solution. But without controlling the illegal flow of arms, the smuggling of oil and goods, and without reducing the flow of militiamen and foreign fighters in the country, the other tracks cannot be completely effective. 

“In the last ten months, EU assets, ships, planes, and unmanned aircraft have patrolled the Central Mediterranean, investigating more than 2,300 ships, visiting more than 100 merchant vessels, and conducting 13 inspections. These are remarkable results for a mission that is only one year old, considering we achieved full operational capability only in September 2020 because of the difficult start due to the pandemic. This positive assessment is broadly shared by the EU, which recently renewed IRINI’s mandate until March 31, 2023.” Agostini explained.

He said the decision of the Council followed a strategic review process carried out under scrutiny of EU member states that exercise political control and strategic direction through the Political and Security Committee (PSC).

“The EU is satisfied with IRINI. Our tasks remain almost unchanged. In primis, the implementation of the arms embargo imposed by the resolution of the Security Council.” He added.


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