Saturday

24th Feb 2018

EU mission struggling in Libya, internal report says

  • Insecurity continues to reign throughout much of Libya. (Photo: Sebastia Giralt)

The EU's mission to Libya, EUbam, has provided a bleak assessment of the country amid strained efforts to shore up its cooperation with authorities.

An internal EUbam paper from mid-September, seen by EUobserver, described the ministries and coordination among the internationally-recognised Libyan authorities in Tripoli as broadly chaotic.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"Sustainable progress may remain limited in the absence of a political solution, an end to the military conflict and a return to stability," it warned.

Libya has been the main departure point for thousands of people attempting to cross by boat to Italy.

The EU has been working to curb the numbers and send people back to the war-torn country before they enter international waters.

But the 21-page document, labelled "EU restricted", also notes that the EU mission is working with Libya's ministry of interior by helping, among other things, to link it up to Interpol's global police communications system.

It said Interpol may deliver facial identification systems to improve Libya's counter-terrorism efforts in a country overrun by some 1,500 armed militia groups.

It noted that an expert from Europol, the EU police agency, has been dispatched to support the Libyan police in the fight against trafficking and smuggling of human beings.

The mission, which is based out of Tunisia, is managing to send people to Tripoli around twice a week but has yet to find a permanent base given the general insecurity.

Vincenzo Tagliaferr, who oversees the mission, said EUbam's light presence means that it soon should be able to respond to the increasing Libyan expectations of "immediate capacity building support."

"I anticipate that we will be able to enter this phase as of autumn," he said in the document.

EUbam is composed of 18 international staff, with three local staff in Libya helping with coordination and translation.

But it noted that an "incident at Mitiga airport on 5 July" involving some of its staff, meant that it requires an advanced deployment of security personnel. Fighting had broken out at the airport, Tripoli's international, amid reports of people killed.

EUbam now wants to "set-up a security operations room" once mission staff members are deployed in capital.

Among other ideas is a plan to work with the United Nations to set up a "pilot model police station in Tripoli".

It said political infighting in Libya's ministry of defence has made it more difficult to execute an EU-backed security plan in Tripoli.

It noted that the suspension of Libya's defence minister "due to his involvement in the massacre of Brak Shati on 18 May" has made the task more difficult.

In the east of the country, it said events were still dominated by the Libyan National Army's (LNA) fight against the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) and Islamists in Benghazi and Derna.

The LNA is headed by general Khalifa Haftar, a warlord who has offered to help the EU stem the flows of migrants, following his visit to Rome in late September.

Haftar, who is being increasingly courted by Western governments, is a rival to the UN-recognised and EU-backed government of national accord in Tripoli, headed by Libya's prime minister Fayez Serraj.

The paper said the Italians have also managed to broker a fragile peace in the south of the country among the tribes in Fezza, despite the violent clashes between the LNA and the Misratan Third Force.

"A further military advance of the LNA towards Tripolitania cannot be excluded if the political deadlock continues," it said.

Europol keen to bend rules on Libya cases

EU police agency says privacy and data protection rights getting in the way of information exchange with Libyan authorities on migrant smuggling.

EU brushes off UN criticism of Libya policy

The European Commission is becoming more defensive of its policies following a string of criticisms from NGOs and the UN's high commissioner for human rights.

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant abuse

Medecins Sans Frontieres International says European governments are contributing to "the manufacturing of suffering at an industrial level" in Libyan detention centres.

Italy seizes NGO boat and starts Libyan mission

Italian authorities impounded a German NGO's rescue boat as a "preventive" measure, and has moved its boats to Libyan waters to help the local coastguard in turning back migrant boats.

Nepal units arrive in Libya to guard UN refugee agency

The UN is sending guards to Libya to provide security for staff working with the UN refugee agency and other UN missions inside compound premises in Tripoli. The agency's work in Libya is broadly funded by the EU.

UN criticises EU policy in Libya as 'inhuman'

The EU's policy of helping the Libyan coast guard to return people plucked from the sea is "inhuman", says the UN's human rights chief, given that most end up in dire conditions.

Opinion

EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy

Not extending the EU fisheries deal with Morocco to fish off the disputed coast of Western Sahara could deprive the Sahrawi people of much-needed income - and throw into question future EU foreign policy in the name of human rights.

EU warns Turkey over 'threat' to Cyprus

The European Commission called on Ankara to refrain from doing "damage to good neighbourly relations", after Turkish vessels stop a rig from reaching a gas drilling zone.

News in Brief

  1. EU calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria
  2. UK's post-Brexit vision is 'pure illusion', Tusk says
  3. EU leaders express solidarity with Cyprus in Turkey drill row
  4. EU to double funding for Sahel forces
  5. EU parliament president: 'The immigration problem is Africa'
  6. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  7. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  8. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeAnkara Ban on LGBTI Events Continues as Turkish Courts Reject NGO Appeals
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. EU agrees budget to focus on defence, security and migration
  2. EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'
  3. Regions chief: calls for smaller EU budget are 'impossible'
  4. Election fever picks up This WEEK
  5. EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy
  6. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  7. European far-right political party risks collapse
  8. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  3. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health
  4. European Free AlllianceEFA Joined the Protest in Aiacciu to Solicit a Dialogue After the Elections
  5. EPSUDrinking Water Directive Step Forward but Human Right to Water Not Recognized
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationGambling Operators File Data Protection Complaint Against Payment Block in Norway
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Expresses Deep Concern Over Proposed Holocaust Law in Poland
  8. CECEConstruction Industry Gets Together to Discuss the Digital Revolution @ the EU Industry Days
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Relations in the New Era
  10. European Free AlllianceEnd Discrimination of European Minorities - Sign the Minority Safepack Initiative
  11. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Diversity Shouldn’t Be Only a Slogan” Lorant Vincze (Fuen) Warns European Commission
  12. Dialogue PlatformWhat Can Christians Learn from a Global Islamic Movement?