UNSMIL hails EU’s Operation IRINI efforts after intercepting UAE vessel

The Acting UN envoy to Libya, Stephanie Williams, met Monday with Eunavfor Mediterranean “IRINI Operation” commander, admiral Agostini and welcomed recent efforts at enforcing the arms embargo in Libya.

Williams recalled Berlin participants’ commitments to respect relevant UN Resolutions and urged them to fulfill their responsibilities.

On Thursday, the European Union maritime force enforcing the UN arms embargo on Libya, under Operation IRINI, intercepted and redirected a UAE-departed tanker headed for Libya after determining it was carrying jet fuel in possible violation of the ban.

The MV Royal Diamond 7 was en route Thursday from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, to Benghazi, Libya, when members of the EU force’s Operation IRINI boarded the ship 150 kilometres north of the Libyan city of Derna, the EU force said.

A statement from the EU mission said its inspection aboard the Marshall Islands-flagged MV Royal Diamond 7 determined the cargo was jet fuel, which it said was “likely” to be used for military purposes and was headed to warlord Khalifa Haftar.

The mission noted that jet fuel is considered military material by the UN, which has authorized the EU force to seize weapons and halt weapons-transporting ships bound for Libya.

The mission said it was redirecting the tanker to a European port for further investigation.


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