Story by Jörg Fleischer – Bundesministerium der Verteidigung – Translation by Naval News
This new EU-led military operation is part of the European Union’s overall strategy to stabilize Libya.
The Bundeswehr will participate in this mission with up to 300 soldiers. The German Bundestag has approved the mandate for EUNAVFOR MED “Irini” until 30 April 2021.
Implementation of the arms embargo
The main task of Operation EUNAVFOR MED “Irini” is to implement the United Nations arms embargo on Libya (UNSMILUnited Nations Support Mission in Libya). The EU Mission Irini is a result of the Berlin Libya Conference. Through the Berlin Process, the German Government actively supports the peace efforts of the United Nations.
Germany is initially participating in EUNAVFOR MED “Irini” with a Bundeswehr P3C-Orion maritime patrol aircraft and staff personnel in the command staff. Sea surveillance and reconnaissance will be used to gather information to create a situation picture (pattern of life) in the area of operations.
Stopping illegal oil exports
In addition to monitoring and enforcing the UN arms embargo, EUNAVFOR MED “Irini” is, inter alia, to contribute to the prevention of illegal exports of petroleum from Libya. The operation is also intended to support capacity building and training of the Libyan coast guard and navy. It will further contribute to the dismantling of networks of smugglers and traffickers in the Central Mediterranean.
Naval News comments
The German parlament’s decision comes in addition with its decision to extend the German presence in the operation ATALANTA led by the European Union.
EUNAVFOR MED IRINI started its operation at sea with the French frigate Jean Bart and a maritime patrol aircraft contributed by Luxembourg on May 4, 2020.
Seven countries are actively participating to the operation: Italy, Greece, France, Germany, Poland, Malta and Luxembourg.