Federal Armed Forces operations to stabilise Libya extended

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Questions and answers about the foreign mission in the central Mediterranean Sea Federal Armed Forces operations to stabilise Libya extended

German troops are to continue their participation in the EU-led Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI in the Mediterranean. The Federal Government has decided to extend the mandate until the end of April 2023. The Bundestag still has to agree to the resolution.

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What are the aims of the operation in the Mediterranean?

The Federal Government’s aim is to continue to provide stability for Libya and to accelerate reconstruction. The EUNAVFOR--European Union Naval Forces MED--Mediterranean IRINI operation is making a major contribution to these efforts. The operation is also considered to have played an active part in the peace process led by the United Nations.

Why is this operation still needed?

A ceasefire was agreed between the parties to the conflict in 2020, and progress has been made since then. However, the situation in Libya has still not stabilised. The elections planned for 2021 were cancelled due to disagreements and no concrete plan is yet in sight. The unstable situation continues to make the operation necessary so that Libya has the chance to gain peace and stability.

Repeated breaches of the UN weapons embargo continue to be identified, as illegal imports of weapons, materiel and fighters on both sides of the conflict are still by no means an exception. In order to improve the security situation in Libya, these breaches must be solved through withdrawal and a regulated process for disarmament and demobilisation. The necessity of the operation will continue to be reviewed on a regular basis.

How is Germany contributing to the EUNAVFOR--European Union Naval Forces MED--Mediterranean IRINI operation?

The operation covers three areas of activity. The principal role consists of implementing the UN weapons embargo on Libya, with the aim of identifying breaches and carrying out monitoring activity.

The operation is also helping to prevent illegal crude oil exports from Libya, which includes preparing situation reports. This makes it possible to share information about illegal exports with the EU--European Union and the authorities in Libya.

Germany’s contribution to collecting and sharing information on smuggler networks helps drive forward the fight against this particular business model.

Why is training for the Libyan coastguard and navy not being continued?

There is a lack of state oversight of coastguard units. Repeated incidents have been identified where individual units have displayed unacceptable behaviour towards refugees, migrants and NGOs. For this reason, the Federal Government can no long take responsibility for providing training for the Libyan coastguard delivered by German troops.

How is the operation improving the situation for refugees and migrants in Libya?

Coastal communities in Libya and Libyan border authorities are to be provided with support, even after the operation has concluded. The aim is to improve the general situation for refugees and migrants in Libya. This includes supporting migrants who voluntarily return to Libya and helping to evacuate refugees.

How is this operation embedded in the EU--European Union’s CSDP?

The Federal Armed Forces are a trusted partner and key element in German and European security policy. Germany is increasingly taking a leading role in the development of the joint Security and Defence Policy, which is designed to resolve conflicts and achieve international consensus. At present 17 CSDP--Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations are underway, eleven of which are civilian and six are military. The EU’s IRINI mission is one of these six.

Further information can be found at the Federal Armed Forces and European Union websites .