Op­er­a­tion Sophia ex­tended

The Western Star - - Obituaries/World -

BRUS­SELS — The Euro­pean Union has ex­tended the man­date of its naval op­er­a­tion tar­get­ing mi­grant smug­gling in the Mediter­ranean and tasked it with mon­i­tor­ing il­le­gal oil traffickin­g from Libya. Op­er­a­tion Sophia, which has naval ships and air­craft mon­i­tor­ing the Mediter­ranean, aims to dis­rupt smug­gling net­works and train Libya’s coast­guard as a way of stem­ming the flow of des­per­ate mi­grants at­tempt­ing the risky cross­ing from Libya to Italy in un­sea­wor­thy boats.

The Euro­pean Coun­cil broad­ened the op­er­a­tion’s man­date this week to con­duct sur­veil­lance and gather in­tel­li­gence on il­le­gal oil ex­ports from Libya, mon­i­tor Libyan coast­guard mem­bers it has trained and en­hance in­for­ma­tion shar­ing be­tween EU mem­ber states and en­force­ment agen­cies.

The op­er­a­tion’s man­date has been ex­tended un­til the end of 2018.

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