EU launches Mediterranean migrant military mission

EU ministers formally approve launch of first phase of a military operation against people smugglers, official says.

    The first ships and aircraft to conduct intelligence gathering missions should be available within a week, an official said [Reuters]
    The first ships and aircraft to conduct intelligence gathering missions should be available within a week, an official said [Reuters]

    EU foreign ministers have formally approved the launch of the first phase of a military operation against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, officials said.

    The first ships and aircraft to conduct intelligence gathering missions should be available within a week, officials said on Monday.

    EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said the 28-nation bloc had responded quickly to the crisis

    Talk to Al Jazeera in the field - African migrants: What really drives them to Europe?

    washing up on its southern shores.

    "I am impressed by the unanimity and speed with which we have put this together," Mogherini said as she arrived to chair the foreign ministers meeting.

    There have been serious differences among member states over how to handle the thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

    Italy, Greece, and Malta have endured the burden until the loss of up to 800 people in April when their rickety boat sank and forced a rethink.

    Phases of the plan

    EU leaders agreed at an emergency summit that month to formulate a comprehensive plan to tackle the problem at the source, including a military option to go after the people traffickers working out of Libya.

    The first phase of intelligence gathering is meant to be followed by active intervention to board and disable smuggler vessels and arrest the traffickers.

    A third phase would extend these actions into Libyan territorial waters and possibly inside the country itself.
    The April summit agreed that advancing to the next two phases would however require a UN Security Council Resolution and agreement from Libya before the EU would go ahead.

     

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?